Plans to introduce ‘P’ plates and zero alcohol for young drivers

David Stewart – Labour MSP hopes to drive through changes to driving licence legislation

A COMPLETE OVERHAUL of the driving licence system could see the introduction of ‘P’ plates in the UK for six months after motorists first pass their tests.

Highlands and Islands MSP David Stewart has been campaigning throughout his Highlands and Moray constituency for several years – now he has met with UK transport minister Andrew Jones in Westminster to discuss his ideas for a ‘graduated licence scheme’.

As well as the introduction of ‘P’ plates there would be a near-zero alcohol limit and a restriction of the number of passengers carried under the age of 25.

Similar schemes are already in operation in many US states, Australia and New Zealand – now Mr Stewart hopes the same can happen in this country, saying that he held a “positive” meeting with the minister who had admitted that a conversation was required on the issue.

“He did advise that he had some hesitancy about a Graduated Licence Scheme, as he wanted young people to be free and mobile and not have restrictions placed on them,” the Labour MSP said.

He added: “He also highlighted that there would have to be exemptions for young people going to and from work, for example. I advised the minister that I had discussions with many organisations from police to the RAC Foundation, as well as the Transport Research Laboratory and individuals.

“All were of the opinion that a Graduated Licence Scheme would save lives and injuries.”

Earlier this year Mr Stewart met with insideMoray in Elgin where his plans for a scheme were discussed among other issues affected Moray – he was assured of our support for any plans that would reduce instances of death and injury caused on Moray roads by young and inexperienced drivers.

Mr Stewart said: “I am determined to get out in our communities and speak to the young people – I’m waiting to meet with representatives from the Scottish Youth Parliament, the Highland Council Youth Convener and other interested groups to garner and gauge their views on this issue.”