Licences and probation
From 1 June 1997, people passing their first driving test are
subject to a 'probation' period of 2 years.
If they accumulate 6 or more penalty points in this
2-year period it will mean that they will have to return to
learner status, re-apply for a provisional licence and take their
Why a probation period?
Newly qualified drivers, especially young ones are at a greater
risk in the first years of passing the test than at almost any
other time in their driving career. On average, 1 in every 5 will
have a crash in the first year of driving. The law aims to reduce
the number of deaths and injuries by penalising new drivers who put
themselves and others at risk by committing offences.
Who is affected?
Anyone who passes their first driving test, regardless of the
type of vehicle it covers (although usually it will be car or
motorcycle) for the first two years after the date of passing.
Drivers who already have a full licence in one vehicle category
and pass a test in another do not have their probationary period
revived because the scheme is aimed at first-time drivers.
Calculating the 6 points
Penalty points count if the offence was committed during the
first two years after passing the driving test, even if the
sentence is not given until after the period has expired.
Any penalty points acquired before passing the test may also
count, as they are valid for three years from the date of the
Returning to L-plates
When the Driver
and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is notified that a new
driver has acquired six or more points, they will notify him/her in
writing that the licence has been revoked. The driver then returns
to learner status and is treated like any other learner. He or she
must apply for a new provisional licence, display L-plates and is
prohibited from driving on motorways. A learner car driver must be
accompanied by a driver aged 21 or over who has held a full licence
for at least 3 years. A learner motorcyclist will be restricted to
less powerful bikes.
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You are 3 times more likely to be involved in a serious
crash in your first year of driving.
Drivers in the 17-25 age range account for only 10%
of UK licence holders yet they are involved in over 20%
of all road traffic accidents. Over 1,000 young people are killed
in crashes on the nation's roads every year.
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Safety for older road users
There is strong evidence to show that the effects of ageing can
cause a deterioration in the skill we need for us to continue to be
safe road users.
The risk of elderly drivers being involved in a fatal crash is
as high as for young, inexperienced drivers.
Older drivers are more likely to have incidents associated with
In general, older drivers find it more difficult to judge the
speed of other drivers. There is a clear relationship between good
eyesight and safe road use. So regular eye examinations are
Be aware of the possible side effects of certain medications. If in
doubt consult you doctor.
It's not all bad
Some insurance companies make allowance for age and experience
and specialise in insuring mature drivers. There can be savings on
premiums for qualifying drivers
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Driver improvement scheme
We act as the service provider, on
behalf of Sussex Police, for the National Driver Improvement
Drivers are referred to the scheme as an alternative to
prosecution by the Criminal Justice Service. It is offered to
some drivers who are deemed to have been involved in
'driving without due care and attention'
incidents. The incidents may include being involved in a
crash or using a mobile phone while driving.
National Driver Improvement Schemes are available throughout the
United Kingdom and are run by Local Authority Road Safety
Departments or by private companies who act as service providers
for their respective Police Authorities.
The course is held over one and a half days and comprises of
approximately four hours of theory and six hours of practical
All the training is conducted by specially
selected Approved Driving Instructors (ADI's).
To successfully complete the course, a client must:
- attend all sessions
- complete all course paperwork
- make a positive contribution to the course
- demonstrate a willingness to improve their driving, and
- help to evaluate the course
A driver who successfully completes the course is referred back to
the police and no further action is taken.
Courses are held in Crawley and Bognor Regis.
For more information, phone 01243 642989 or visit National
Driver Improvement Scheme
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