Insurethebox comes out against the proposed ban on new drivers going out at night, calling it “unfair” and “punitive,” while the ABI keeps an open mind

Telematics-based insurer Insurethebox has come out against the government’s proposed plans to ban young drivers from heading out at night.

Theresa May said during her Prime Minister’s Questions address on 7 February that she would explore the possibility of a ‘graduate driving license’ after an MP spoke of how a child was killed by a learner driver in their constituency.

There are different versions of the license already in operation in different countries around the world.

Jenny Chapman, Labour MP for Darlington, said that a quarter of young drivers, aged 17-24, are involved in an accident within the first two years of driving and each year and 400 deaths or serious injuries on the roads involved a young driver.

The Prime Minister responded by saying that she “will certainly look at the request that she has made,” and she “will also ask the Department for Transport to look at this as an issue.”

The Association of British Insurers has given its support to the introduction of the Graduate Driver’s License:

“It is clear that inexperienced drivers are much more likely to crash while driving at night. Given the severity of the problem, the ABI continues to call on the Government to look in detail at how the UK could implement a form of Graduated Driver Licensing.” 

Curfew not “workable” or “fair”, says Insurethebox

But Insurethebox’s head of pricing, Sarah Vaughan disagrees with the proposed curfew:

“We don’t see a curfew on driving as a workable or fair solution.

“New drivers continue to be a huge challenge when it comes to improving road safety and reducing road deaths.

“The Government is recognising that the current driving test is leaving new drivers woefully underprepared for the responsibility that comes with being behind the wheel but we don’t believe that a night-time curfew is the right way forward.”

The ABI, however, is keeping an open mind when it comes to the curfew:

“We are open to discussion on the curfew,” 

“We accept that there could be some circumstances where nighttime driving for younger drivers is necessary (such as in connection with employment), and, as I say, we are open to discussing this. What we want to see is a package of measures around GDL, taking account of steps some other countries have taken to address this issue.”

Vaughan explained what effect the proposed curfew could have on young people’s social lives and potential for earning:

“Imposing punitive measures on young drivers could have an unfair impact on their lives, such as hampering their earning potential if they work in jobs which require night shifts or late-night duties like shelf filling at supermarkets or bar work.

“There are also questions around how this proposal will affect different locations, given that darkness falls as early as 5pm in certain regions of England – even earlier during winter – and may last until 7:30 am, when many young motorists will need to have left home for school or work.”

While Vaughan admits something needs to be done to reduce the number of deaths involving young drivers, she believes improved education is the way forward:

“By increasing awareness of the dangers on the roads and arming drivers with tools to improve, we help young motorists become safer drivers and reduce their insurance premiums without the need for curfews or bans on how they drive.”