‘Our responsibility to new drivers is falling short’

Editor-in-chief Steve Fowler thinks more needs to be done to support drivers who have just passed their test

Opinion - new drivers

It’s been a momentous month for the Fowler family; our driveway has got a lot more crowded due to our twin boys passing their driving tests within weeks of each other. It gets even busier when their ‘just passed’ mates come round, too.

This has started a frenzy of car activity, extra expense and parental worry, with two lads and their new-found freedom. It remains one of the greatest feelings in the world, with the opportunity to explore new places and increased social activity. I remember it well.

Intensive driving courses: the ultimate guide

There’s plenty I can do to help, practising what we preach in the pages of this magazine. For example, I’ve replaced the questionable choice of tyres previous owners decided on with Continental rubber; the brand swept the board at our tyre tests last year. I’ve also fitted Nextbase dash cams to both their cars (these devices are multiple Auto Express award winners, too).

As far as the lads themselves are concerned, they’re both signed to up to IAM Roadsmart Young Driver Assessments (alongside my older daughter, who’s been driving for a couple of years now). They’re all keen to extend their learning and see the benefits – as I do – of aiming for full IAM Roadsmart membership to make them better drivers, as well as potential insurance savings.

It’s vital to arm new drivers with the tools they need to stay safe on the roads, in terms of the cars they’re driving as well as the attitude of the person behind the wheel.

The history of the driving test

But talking to my lads and their friends, they say we have a system that is good at producing a test that’s increasingly difficult to pass (not a bad thing), but they’re then dumped onto the roads with no further support. No online tools to continue their learning or answer questions, and no guidance on how to buy a decent car, keep it safe and well maintained.

The stats surrounding new drivers speak for themselves; more needs to be done to keep them safe. We’d like the DVLA to extend its responsibility beyond the day when people pass their test.

Do you agree with Steve? Do you think more needs to be done to support new drivers? Let us know your thoughts below...

Most Popular

Best motorhomes 2022: the top 5 picks for all budgets
Chausson motorhome
Tips & advice

Best motorhomes 2022: the top 5 picks for all budgets

In the market for a new motorhome? Here are our top-five recommendations...
18 May 2022
New all-electric Volkswagen Aero B saloon to rival Tesla Model 3
Volkswagen Aero B exclusive image - front
Volkswagen

New all-electric Volkswagen Aero B saloon to rival Tesla Model 3

The new four-door VW Aero B EV could come with up to 435 miles of range and our exclusive images preview how it could look
20 May 2022
New all-electric Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider shapes up
Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider - watermarked front
Alfa Romeo

New all-electric Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider shapes up

Alfa Romeo bosses have confirmed that a new two-seat electric roadster is in the company’s rejuvenation plans and our exclusive images preview how it …
19 May 2022