Insurers call for one-year minimum L-plates

| October 4, 2012
Insurers call for one-year minimum L-plates

With an 18-year-old driver three times more likely than a 48-year-old to be involved in an accident, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) says restrictions should be placed on new drivers in order to save lives.

The ABI is calling for a number of changes to the way youngsters learn to drive in the UK, including the introduction of a minimum 12-month learning period.

It also wants new drivers to be banned from driving between 11:00pm and 4:00am for the first six months, unless they are driving to and from their place of work or education.

During their first six months as a qualified driver there would also be a limit on the number of passengers they could carry and a zero blood-alcohol limit would apply.

However the ABI suggests that youngsters should be allowed to start learning to drive at the age of 16 years and six months, rather than waiting until their 17th birthday.

Malcolm Tarling of the ABI said: “A car is potentially a lethal weapon, and we must do more to help young drivers better deal with the dangers of driving.

“Improving the safety of young drivers will also mean that they will face lower motor insurance costs.”

According to ABI statistics, a third of drivers killed in car accidents are aged less than 25 years, despite this group accounting for just one in eight of drivers on the roads.

The ABI’s suggestions will be considered by the government as part of its ongoing work on new-driver safety.

Meanwhile the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has referred the motor insurance industry to the Competition Commission over concerns that the market is not working in the best interest of drivers.

The OFT found that the system of allowing garages and car-hire companies to pay fees to insurers for referring customers, could be pushing up the costs of getting motorists back on the road after an accident.

These practices are believed to be pushing up motor insurance premiums.

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