Graduated Licences: Time for Action?


On May 23, an MSA GB webinar provided members an opportunity to discuss graduated driving licences with the MSA GB board. The timing was significant, occurring just a day after Rishi Sunak called the General Election, potentially bringing the issue into political focus.

The current system, transitioning from supervised learning to full freedom after passing the L-test, was widely agreed to need reform, given the high crash statistics for new drivers. However, the webinar highlighted a lack of consensus on the best approach, with no single solution standing out.

Key Insights:

  • Growing Focus: Peter Harvey, MSA GB national vice-chairman, noted increasing interest in graduated driving licences, influenced by recent parliamentary debates and successful international examples, such as Estonia’s conditional licensing system.
  • Proposed Reforms: Suggestions from delegates included restrictions on carrying passengers, night-time driving, engine size, and compulsory further training. Each idea had both supporters and critics.
  • Training Emphasis: Many participants, including Mike Yeomans, MSA GB national chairman, emphasised the need for further training rather than mere restrictions. Suggestions included using Pass Plus modules and log books signed off by ADIs.
  • Challenges: Practical issues such as accommodating night-time economy workers and the enforceability of minimum training hours were discussed. The debate also touched on lower drink-drive limits and the impracticality of engine size restrictions given modern vehicle capabilities.


While there was no clear consensus, the webinar underscored the need for a balanced approach that combines restrictions with enhanced training. As the debate continues, MSA GB remains committed to exploring effective solutions for improving road safety for new drivers.

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