Saturday 29th December 2012 | 00:01
SNP: EU driving changes perfect time to move towards graduated licences
SNP press release
As EU changes to driving licences are set to be introduced, the SNP has said this is the perfect time to make plans to introduce a Graduated
Driving Licence for newly-qualified drivers.
January will see a single European Driving Licence introduced as well as a new EU directive that will make it unlawful for men to be charged more than their female peers.
And with figures showing 17 to 25-year-olds are most likely to be in a fatal collision during the festive break, SNP MSP Mark McDonald reiterated calls for Westminster to move towards introducing a Graduated Driving Licence as such calls have to date gone unheeded.
Mr McDonald said:
"January will see various changes made to driving licences, which is why it is the perfect time for Westminster to move towards putting restrictions on the conditions in which newly qualified drivers can drive for a fixed period, instead dismissing it out of hand as it has previously done.
"Sadly, the party season is a busy time on Scotland's roads and raises the numbers of people getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol. Not only that, but the road conditions can be extremely dangerous - particularly for new drivers who are not used to driving in such conditions.
"Moving to graduated licences - such as making limitations on driving between 11pm and 4am, a zero blood-alcohol limit and restrictions on passenger numbers - could cut road deaths and may even boost insurance prospects for young drivers.
"Although we know deaths on Scotland’s roads are down by 11 per cent, it is still the case that young drivers – who are the group most likely to have newly qualified – remains substantially more likely to be involved in a road accident.
"If there is anything we can do to reduce their chances of being in an accident, we must do it. The campaign to do more to help young drivers is gaining momentum and it's time for Westminster to stop grinding its heels and get on board.
“Losing even one life on Scotland’s roads is one too many and if Westminster will not act to reduce the risks to newly qualified drivers, then it must give the Scottish Government the power to do so.”