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The Department for Transport has abandoned its plans to make several changes to the current UK driving test which would make it more difficult for people to get their licence and was intended to improve road safety around the country.

The proposed plans would have affected young drivers more than anyone else as recent statistics have proved that over a fifth a driving deaths in 2012 were caused by drivers between the age of 17-24. Included in these proposed plans were a 12 month probationary licence, compulsory motorway driving lessons, a ban on the use of mobile phones while driving, a lower drink driving limit and a curfew on late driving.

The curfew for new drivers was set to be between the hours of 10pm and 5am unless they had someone over 30 years old in the car with them. The mobile phone ban would have also included a ban on the use of hands free kits.

The main aim of these changes was to increase the number of hours learning for new drivers, to limit young drivers and to improve road safety. The Department for Transport decided to scrap the plans as they felt that it was particularly restricting young drivers in terms of work, education and in their own leisure time.

Neil Greg is the director of policy at the Institute of Advanced Motorists and he thought that the proposed plans should have went ahead: “Road deaths costs the economy almost £16 billion a year so improving safety for the highest risk group would actually have helped the economy.”

It has been recently proved that there is already a drop in 17-19 year olds who are learning to drive and these new laws would certainly have kept these numbers going down. Thankfully they have not been passed but there has been some mixed feelings about the Department for Transport cancelling these plans. Some feel that they should have passed the extra training laws such as compulsory motorway driving lessons and left out the curfew laws.

What is your opinion on this issue and do you think they should have passed some of these laws whilst leaving out others? Share your opinion in our comments box below.

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