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Valuable pointer for ‘probationary’ new drivers

13:35 29 September 2014

Richard Wood, of Keep Your Licence, urges new drivers to take extra care of their licence.

Passing your driving test is cause for celebration but under current legislation new drivers have a two-year ‘probationary’ period during which it is much easier to lose your licence.

If, during the first two years after passing your driving test, you get six points on your licence it will be revoked. As a result you will not be able to drive until successfully retaking a driving test.

As a new driver, you will be keen to drive carefully and lawfully. However, it is easier than you might think to get penalty points for relatively minor offences of speeding. In particular, a conviction for driving without insurance, even if it is an administrative oversight, carries a minimum penalty of six points so your licence is revoked.

If your licence is revoked in the first two years you have to apply and pay for a new provisional licence and pass both theory and practical tests before driving again – a time-consuming and costly affair. Revocation is different to disqualification from driving – the latter puts you off the road for a specific period of time but revocation is open-ended and depends on how many times it might take you to pass the test again. For this reason, our clients often prefer a short disqualification of a few weeks rather than revocation.

Disqualification as opposed to penalty points, does not trigger the provisions that require the DVLA to revoke a licence.

An experienced lawyer might make a bold application on a driver’s behalf, inviting the court to disqualify a new driver, rather than impose points, to avoid revocation of a driving licence.

Statistically, younger drivers are more likely to commit a driving offence than an older one. It is estimated one in five road accidents resulting in death or serious injury involve drivers under the age of 24. The new driver provisions enable the DVLA to rein in inexperienced drivers who demonstrate poor driving skills and attitudes.

Future proposals could see new drivers having a curfew, a lower alcohol limit and increasing the probationary period from two to three years.

If you are a new driver, and are worried about anything in this article, then please call us at Keep Your Licence on 0800 7076004.

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