Piccadilly Pulse: Should we force teens to wait until they are 19 for full driving licences?

By David Aspinall

Young driving hopefuls may have to wait another two years until they are allowed on the roads if government proposals get the green light.

The proposals mean learners would have to wait until they are 19 to be fully qualified on the road, rather than 17 as it currently stands.

Drivers ages 17-24 account for only 5% of the miles driven on UK roads, yet were involved in more than a fifth of driving-related fatalities in 2011, Department of Transport statistics show.

Other proposals include it being compulsory to have someone over the age of 30 in the car when driving between 10pm and 5am and having to drive at least 120 hours before taking a test.

MM stepped out into Piccadilly to see whether you agreed with these proposals and also whether drivers of retirement age should be scrutinised more closely.

Should the age someone can obtain a full driving licence rise from 17 to 19-years-old?







An older age



Peter, a 61-year-old from Bury, said: “The statistics suggest the driving age should be raised to 18, but I don’t think it should go any higher.

“You can vote at 18; get drunk at 18, so you should be able to drive at 18.”

Mr Singh, 32, a taxi driver from Whalley Range, doesn’t believe the driving age should rise but does agree with some of the other conditions being suggested, particularly it being compulsory for young drivers to be accompanied by an adult over the age of 30-years-old between certain hours.

“At the age of 17 you should have an adult with you as you are not mature enough to be driving at night,” he said.

It appears that most people would support stronger restrictions on driving lessons and new drivers instead of raising the minimum age of obtaining a drivers’ licence.

Sophie, 23, from Salford Quays, said: “It should stay at 17 but with more emphasis on experience and a minimum number of driving hours before the test is taken.”

Levenshulme resident Toni, 56, went even further.

Having been caught for speeding and having attended a speed awareness course she believes that all prospective drivers should have to sit through one.

She said: “I’ve been driving for many years and it really opened my eyes.

“I think younger drivers should have to take one to make them aware of the consequences of driving around like maniacs.”

Should drivers over the age of 70 have to take another driving test to see whether they are still fit to drive?










Casey, 23, from Sports City, said: “One million per cent they should have to take a new test!

“A 70-year-old crashed into me a couple of months ago and when he got out of the car he was wearing an oxygen mask, and said, “Sorry, I’m not very well.”

“If that’s the case he shouldn’t have been driving!”

Blakeley resident Peter, 33, said: “Older people should be given an MOT like test; including testing their eyesight.”

Toni, 56, said: “They could have an unseen medical condition like dementia and that wouldn’t be obvious.

“For the safety of other drivers they should definitely be tested.”

However, Margaret Gibson, 65 from Cumbria, who owns a meat stall as part of the food market in Piccadilly Gardens, believes 70 is too young to be testing drivers.

She said: “I might be biased because I’m closer to that age, but I do believe if people are still driving at 80 or 85-years-old they should definitely be tested as their reactions would be slower.”

Picture courtesy of David D Muir, with thanks.

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