Marmalade champions young driver safety


Posted by We Are Marmalade on 26 January 2017

Driver safety is already proving to be high on the government’s agenda, which has been welcomed by Marmalade, champion of young drivers and provider of insurance and cars for 17-24 year-olds. In a bid to cut accidents the government is set to impose tougher penalties on those drivers who are caught using their mobile phones, speeding will now come with a heftier fine and for those just starting out on the road, the government recently reported that learner drivers could have to complete up to 120 hours of driving time before they sit their test.

Marmalade issued a survey to gather its customers’ thoughts on the latest proposal for Learner Drivers and how this change which will impact their learning.

According to the survey around 37% of respondents said they spent 25 hours or less in the car before taking their test, including lessons and time spent on the road with parents. Nearly 35% of those who responded said they spent 25-45 hours in the car before taking their practical test. In total, some 70% of those surveyed disagreed with the government’s proposal of a minimum of 120 hours driving time for a learner driver.

On average, learners have around 30-40 hours of driving time and practice before taking their test, according to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, which is in line with Marmalade’s findings.

Crispin Moger, CEO of Marmalade, says: “I’m pleased that as we embark on a new year, young driver safety is being set as a priority on the government’s agenda – at long last.”

Marmalade understands that practice and experience are key to developing driving skills and is strongly in favour of championing a minimum number of hours over a period of time in order to pass. Crispin continues: “The minimum number of hours set needs to be realistic and not simply an arbitrary number.

Crispin continues: “Our latest survey amongst customers indicates that the government’s proposed 120 hours of practice is wildly unrealistic and will not be a popular move. It should also be noted that by continuing to raise insurance premium tax the government is hammering young drivers. Learning to drive may potentially become more expensive and difficult – this is a real problem for young people in the UK. There’s been a 21% decrease in 17 to 20-year olds sitting the test in the last nine years and this decrease will continue if costs continue to rise.

“I am also aware that issuing tougher fines and penalties to drivers for speeding and using their phones will not be popular, and could be construed as a money-making initiative. However, I believe that the human cost to breaking the law far outweighs the cost to our wallet. This is good step forward. It’s my hope that speeding and using your phone behind the wheel will become as socially unacceptable as drink-driving and I hope that these new proposals will help shape that.

“The government’s plans for Learner Drivers are interesting from a safety perspective and I think there is a wider issue here to address. Perhaps we should seek guidance from other countries in adopting the graduated licence or the introduction of restricting engine size for the first three years of driving to 1.4 or less. These would potentially be easy to enforce and would be effective ways to ensure novice drivers are safer. I predict we will see interesting developments over the new few years in young driver safety and it will save lives.”

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