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Driver training


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 test again.

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 offence.

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is notified that a new driver has acquired six or more points, they will notify him/her in writing that the licence has been revoked.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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Young drivers

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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Older drivers

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.

Mature drivers

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 negotiating junctions.

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 essential.

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

Driver improvement scheme logoWe act as the service provider, on behalf of Sussex Police, for the National Driver Improvement Scheme.

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 on-road tuition.

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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