Learn to drive - the rules

Tough new rules for new drivers

The Department of Transport is considering introducing graduated licences for new drivers and is trialling the scheme in Northern Ireland.

Some of the proposals being considered by the government won’t go down well with many new drivers. They could face some tough restrictions.

Under the scheme new drivers might:

  • not be able to drive between 11pm and 6am, unless supervised or travelling directly from home to work or school
  • have to stick to a zero tolerance drink drive limit of 20mg of alcohol per 100ml blood
  • not be able to drive on motorways and also be restricted on the size of engine they can drive
  • have to take a second driving test after two years.

The reason these proposals are likely to become law is simple: young drivers (17-24 years old) are at a much higher risk of crashing than older drivers. Drivers aged 17-19 only make up 1.5% of UK licence holders but are involved in 9% of fatal and serious crashes where they are the driver.1

There are many reasons for this sad statistic. Many young drivers like showing off in front of friends, drive cars that are too powerful for them to control safely, use drink/drugs and are tempted to use mobile phones while driving.

Graduated licences will, hopefully, save lives. Such a scheme may also drive insurance costs down for new drivers so it’s not all bad news for people who are taking driving lessons at the moment.

It’s bound to become law sooner rather than later. Watch this space for developments.


  1. Young drivers, Brake, 21st June 2018.