Call for powers to curb young motorists

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HOLYROOD should be given the power to create new limited driving licences for young people, according to an SNP backbencher.

Restrictions on licences may help save lives, North East MSP Mark McDonald said.

“Graduated licences would allow newly qualified drivers to build up their skills and experience in low-risk situations, reducing their chances of being in an accident,” he said.

“If putting restrictions on the conditions in which newly qualified drivers can drive for a fixed period can save lives, then it is wrong to dismiss it out of hand, as the Westminster government has done.

“Losing even one life on Scotland’s roads is one too many, and if Westminster will not act to reduce the risks to newly qualified drivers then it must give the Scottish Government the power to do so.”

He suggested following proposals by road safety charity Break, which called for a minimum one-year learning period and a two-year “novice” licence on passing a practical test.

Break argues that novices should not normally be allowed to drive on motorways, overnight between 11pm and 6am or unless 
supervised by someone aged over 25.

MSPs debated calls for more power to change laws covering drivers last week.

The SNP received support for proposals to reduce the drink-drive limit in Scotland from 80mg of 
alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg. That change is made possible by new powers devolved to Holyrood through the recently agreed Scotland Act.