Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (New Drivers) Bill progresses to second reading

9th May 2024

Labour MP Kim Leadbeater has proposed a new Bill in parliament which would place restrictions on newly qualified drivers, with a view to reducing the number of deaths and injuries on our roads.

Get ahead with CIHT Membership

Join other savvy professionals just like you at CIHT.  We are  committed to fulfilling your professional development needs throughout your career

Find out more

Globally, road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5-29 years. (Source: World Health Organization). 
Despite having some of the safest roads in the world, road safety is still a key issue in the UK, where in 2022, around a fifth of all killed or seriously injured casualties from collisions involving cars were in collisions which involved a young car driver (aged between 17 and 24). (Source: Department for Transport). 


This week, Labour MP Kim Leadbeater proposed the ‘Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (New Drivers) Bill’ which, if passed, would create a form of Graduated Driving Licence (GDL) in the UK.
GDLs are a type of driving licence that deliver a phased approach to driving which builds experience and competence to help minimise risk to novice drivers. (Source: Brake). 


The types of restrictions for new drivers proposed by the Bill include:
•    A zero-alcohol limit.
•    Restrictions on the number of passengers allowed in a vehicle.
•    Restrictions on night-time driving, with exemptions for work, medical and emergency reasons. 
•    Consideration of the engine sizes new drivers are permitted to drive within the first few months of passing their tests. 
These restrictions would be placed on new drivers for the first six months after they receive their licence. 


In addition to the above, the Bill proposes the following changes to the experience of learning to drive and the driving test:
•    The inclusion of rural roads, motorways or dual carriageways as part of the driving test.
•    A requirement that during driving lessons a driver gains experience on different road conditions.


The introduction of this Bill comes a week after an inquest into the road deaths of two teenagers aged 18 and 17 in a car carrying eight teenagers late at night, determined that speed and alcohol were contributing factors to the collision. (Source: BBC). 


During her speech, Kim Leadbeater made it clear that:

The Bill is not about taking away young people’s freedom or fun; it is about trying to save their lives. By giving them the opportunity to build their experience and confidence during the first six months of driving after passing their test, we can try to ensure they have a happy lifetime of driving and the future that they deserve


A variation of GDLs have already been introduced in other countries such as the United States of America, the Republic of Ireland, Sweden, Canada and Australia.
Specifically, in New Zealand, since the introduction of GDLs there has been a 23% reduction in car collision injuries for 15–19 year olds, and a 12% reduction for 20–24 year olds. (Source: RAC). 


Elizabeth Box, CIHT Fellow, Technical Champion and Research Director at the RAC Foundation said:

This Bill has been supported by over 80 families who make up the Forget-me-not Families Uniting group as well as organisations from across the road safety sector. It is vitally important that licensing changes are introduced to save young lives and those involved in collisions with them. It is a change that is long overdue, with compelling evidence finding that such a scheme, if introduced in Great Britain, could reduce casualties involving young drivers between 20% and 40%.


The Bill has received cross-party support and industry support and will now progress to a Second reading on Friday 17 May. 

The full video of Kim Leadbeater’s speech can be seen here.



Correction 1: The title of this article has been corrected from 'Graduated Driving Licences Bill progresses to second reading' to 'Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (New Drivers) Bill progresses to second reading' 

Correction 2: The point about the proposed restrictions on passengers has been corrected from 'Restrictions on the number of young passengers allowed in a vehicle' to 'Restrictions on the number of passengers allowed in a vehicle'. 


Help and support 

For any press enquires please contact  
For any technical enquiries please contact  

Comments on this site are moderated. Please allow up to 24 hours for your comment to be published on this site. Thank you for adding your comment.

{{item.AuthorName}} {{item.AuthorName}} says on {{item.DateFormattedString}}:


Get ahead with CIHT Membership

Join other savvy professionals just like you at CIHT.  We are  committed to fulfilling your professional development needs throughout your career

Find out more