New drivers could soon face tough new driving restrictions after passing their tests under new laws being considered by the Government.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced it will be investigating introducing graduated driving licenses (GDL) in the UK.
Under the proposals, new drivers will be limited to carrying one passenger aged 14 to 20 between 11pm and 6am and display a 'P' for two years after passing.
Roads safety minister Jesse Norman said that the proposed graduated driving licence system will be introduced in Northern Ireland as a pilot.
A letter written by Norman to Scottish SMP David Stewart said the pilot will gauge whether the scheme should be introduced across the county, according to the Daily Express.
In the letter, Norman writes: "The Department for Transport has decided to use the introduction of GDL [graduated driving licence] in Northern Ireland as a pilot to gather evidence on the potential for GDL in Great Britain”.
Northern Irish authorities are currently in the second stage of a public consultation, which proposes limiting the number of passengers new drivers aged 24 and under can carry for the first six months after passing their driving tests.
If the scheme is successful, it will be brought to UK and new drivers would have to undertake six months of training before being granted a full licence.
Despite the restrictions on passengers, immediate family members would be exempt from this rule.
The new laws would apply to 17-24 year olds and would see them banned from driving at night, having their engine size restricted as well as the passenger restrictions.
Norman’s letter follows comments from Theresa May that the Government would “look at” the idea of a GDL system.
Responding to a parliamentary question back in February, the Prime Minister said: “Too many people suffer loss and tragedy at the hands of learner drivers…and we will certainly look at that [a graduated licensing system].”
New research has revealed that motorists aged between 17-24 are involved in a quarter of all crashes on UK roads which lead to death or serious injuries.