The Restrictions Facing The World’s New Drivers


Passing a driving test is a momentous occasion for a learner. Being able to hit the open road is freeing and helps them to develop independence. Once a person can get behind the wheel without stabilizers, there is no need to rely on mom and dad. But, news from across the pond might put everything in jeopardy. In an episode of Prime Minister’s Questions, an MP asked Mrs May if she would consider imposing new restrictions and she said yes.

Limits, however, aren’t new to the population of drivers who have less than one year’s experience under their belt. Here are the current and potential boundaries facing new drivers.

Graduated Driver License

The issue in the House of Commons was one regarding a GDL. Due to the accident and auto repair stats facing the UK, MPs are looking to make a mark. According to the facts, almost a quarter of new drivers are involved in an accident within two years. Britain’s scheme would look to enroll drivers in a project that unlocked more privileges as the process went along. For example, driving at night or driving a certain distance. Don’t think America is far behind either as Maryland already has its own GDL system. Check out the link to learn more.

Penalty Points

Although the GDL in the UK isn’t in operation, the government still puts limits on a newbie’s license. One of the most basic is the penalty point system. Britons have a grace period of 12 points before they lose their license, while newly qualified drivers get 6. If they hit the figure, newbies receive a ban that can range from months to years depending on the scale of the infringements. Although penalties differ, Americans normally have to deal with on-the-spot fines, as do many Asian residents.


It’s weird to think it’s true, but there is a curfew law in the United States. On the DMV’s Connecticut website, the guidelines state that drivers ‘may not drive between the hours of 11pm and 5am.’ Apparently, the rule is to prevent joyriding and DUI offences that happen mostly at night. There are exemptions, such as religious activities and school, but the police can be pretty tough. However, the curfew does end when the driver reaches their 18th birthday. Then, all bets are off and the ban doesn’t apply. So, it depends on the state and their rules and not the Federal government’s.

Plates And Speed

If you think a curfew is strange, wait until you see what newbies have to do in Northern Ireland. Firstly, NQD must display an amber ‘R’ plate for the first year after passing. The Republic of Ireland has a similar rule but the plate has an ‘N’ and the limit last for two years. The oddest thing is the restriction on the speed limit. New drivers in Northern Ireland can’t exceed 45mph regardless of the limit on the road. That includes 30mph zones, or regular streets, and motorways or freeways in the US.

Are you a new driver? Do you hate the rules or think they are a necessary evil?



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