ABI calls for partial license for new drivers
The Association of British Insurers, the trade organisation for Britain’s insurance industry, has called for a change in the awarding of driving licenses. It believes that new drivers should not be granted full licenses as soon as they pass their practical driving examination, and should spend a year under restrictions such as being unable to carry passengers or between certain times. These measures, it believes, would drastically reduce the risk of accidents, and as a result, bring down the cost of car insurance for young drivers. "If we can bring the risk down, by encouraging safer, better driving, that will bring the cost of insurance down," said ABI spokesman Malcolm Tarling. "It is the only way in the long-term to reduce the cost of insurance for young drivers." While a graduated license scheme like the one the ABI has proposed could help cut the cost of car insurance for young drivers, it’s feared that it might be impractical – the proposal to limit travel at certain times of night and early morning in particular would be a big problem for young drivers who rely on their cars to get to work. Meanwhile, while banning new motorists from carrying passengers would also prevent them from enjoying fuel-saving lift share arrangements in which they are the driver. Eighteen people a day are killed or injured in road crashes involving drivers under 25. Because of this, and other factors including a high number of personal injury claims for complaints like whiplash, a typical annual insurance policy for a young driver can cost thousands of pounds. The perpetually increasing cost of getting insured has meant that many young drivers are being kept off the road – earlier this year, it was reported that there has been a 19 per cent drop in the number of drivers aged 17-22 on the road since 2005.