Experts from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and road safety organisations, including the RAC Foundation, are urging the Government to make young drivers learn car control for at least 12 months before being allowed to take their test. They say it could significantly cut the number of road casualties among teenagers and under-25s.
Under the proposals, even a teenager going out for a first driving lesson on their 17th birthday would be 18 before they could get a full licence. Other suggestions include keeping a logbook charting L-drivers' progress while learning and imposing time limits on driving at night. However, the suggestions have been criticised for potentially increasing the cost of learning to drive. They could take the price of getting a full licence up to around £2,500 - more than double the current average £1,100 for tuition.
Robin Cummins, road safety consultant at BSM - the UK's largest driving school - said this increase would price many young people off the road. "The number of 17-year-old learners has already fallen, due to university tuition fees and so on," he told us. "Any new rise will lead to a further decline."
Meanwhile, 58 of the 64 fatal road accidents in West Yorkshire this year have involved young men. The figures were revealed in a new report from the county's Road Safety Strategy Group.