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Driving

Volume 694: debated on Wednesday 25 July 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the consultation timetable for the “modern template” for learning to drive, announced in the Department for Transport's second three-year review of progress towards the 2010 road casualty reduction targets; and [HL4944]

Whether any research has been commissioned by the Department for Transport together with the Driving Standards Agency to inform any policy proposals for young and novice drivers; and [HL4945]

What conclusions and recommendations have been reached following research commissioned by the Department for Transport together with the Driving Standards Agency; and [HL4946]

What further research commissioned by the Department for Transport together with the Driving Standards Agency will be published; and when that publication is likely to occur; and [HL4947]

Whether any evaluation has been made of the benefits and costs of further restrictions placed on young and novice drivers in terms of hours of driving or numbers of passengers carried; and, if so, what are the conclusions of that evaluation. [HL4948]

The Driving Standards Agency has been consulting stakeholders for some time to help to inform the consultation paper that the Department for Transport expects to be able to publish in the autumn. The timetable for responses will be the normal 12 weeks. The timetable thereafter will depend upon the decisions arising from the consultation.

The Department for Transport and the Driving Standards Agency have a strategic programme of policy-focused research to explore a range of issues which affect young and novice drivers. All research on young and novice drivers commissioned by DfT is documented in the Road User Safety Research Compendium on an annual basis (available from 1997). See www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roadsafety/research/rsrc/compendiumofroadsafetyresear4723. Key documents relating to young and novice drivers commissioned and published since 2000 are listed below.

Pre-driver Education: Survey of Pre-driver Education Provision

2007

DfT

Pre-driver Education: A Critical Review of the Literature on Attitude Change and Development, Good Practice in Pre-driver Education and Programme Effectiveness

2007

DfT

Trends in fatal car occupants accidents

2007

DfT

The Good, the Bad and the Talented - Young drivers' perspectives on good driving and learning to drive

2007

DfT

Intervention Modalities to Address Relevant Psychosocial Predictors of Driving Behaviour among Adolescents

2007

DfT

Novice driver safety and the British practical driving test

2006

TRL

The differential effects of formal and informal driver training

2004

DfT

Research into unlicensed driving - final report

2003

DfT

The development of hazard perception testing

2002

TRL

Monitoring and evaluation of safety measures for new drivers

2002

TRL

In-depth accident causation study of young drivers

2002

TRL

Trial of learner driver logbook

2001

DfT

Novice driver accidents and the driving test

2001

TRL

Graduated driver licensing—a review of some current systems and their evaluations

2001

TRL

Practice and instruction when learning to drive

2000

DfT

Road Safety Research Series No. 2: Novice Drivers' Safety

2000

DfT

Reports are publicly available from the DfT website at www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roadsafety/research/rsrr/theme2/, and from the TRL website at www.trl.co.uk/store/report_list.asp?pid=310.The findings from this research are being used to develop a new framework of competencies for safe driving which will be the foundation for subsequent work (and research) on driver education, training, testing, and lifelong learning.

Ongoing research includes two projects on novice and learner drivers which are due to report later this summer—the Cohort II study of learner and novice drivers and research on pre-driver and learner perspectives on driving and learning. Projects on the development of Pass Plus, improving and assessing attitudes to driving and the use of the driver record are due to be completed within the next six to 12 months and are expected to be published.

The consultation exercise on learning to drive will provide the opportunity for further debate on whether restrictions would have the intended effect and could be enforced. There has been no systematic cost-benefit analysis of the impact of potential restrictions on young and novice drivers. However, all available research and evidence will inform the debate and future options for reform.