Statistically, new and young drivers are far more likely to be involved in an incident (note, we don’t call it an accident) that could cause death or serious injury. Once you’ve passed your test, you lose the safety net of having another, more experienced driver with you. And even if you are accompanied, where are the dual controls? Responsibility is now 100% on you.
Remember, you are also responsible for the safety of your passengers, but make them aware that you are in charge. If they misbehave or distract you: warn them that they’ll be walking home.
The Honest Truth
The Honest Truth is a charity aimed at educating and supporting new drivers, and they advocate “My Car My Rules” for a zero-tolerance agreement with your passengers. Their “ten truths” can be studied free of charge on their website. If you have any questions: ask your driving instructor…even if you’ve passed!
Pass Plus is a series of six further lessons which can be taken after you have passed your driving test. The whole course is a minimum of six hours, covering situations that you may not have experienced as a learner, and it puts you in a better position to stay safe.
The Pass Plus course syllabus is as follows:
- Dual carriageways
- Out of town (rural/country lanes)
- Bad weather (can be done as a theory module)
- City centre (rush hour)
- Night time
There is a set syllabus to follow but there is no test at the end, and the assessment is carried out by your driving instructor who you already know and trust. You even a certificate in the post when you complete the training.
After passing the driving test, some people choose to display P-Plates. They are optional. The theory is that they will encourage other drivers to be more tolerant of your mistakes. But a more robust way of thinking is that you shouldn’t be making mistakes! By taking the additional training of Pass Plus, and by staying alert and being predictable in your driving, other drivers will know what you are doing.
If you want to buy P-Plates, we suggest the same brand as the L-Plates we recommend: Le Yogi.
New Driver Act
Since 1997, new drivers have been placed on an automatic two-year probationary period from the day they pass their driving test. You can read the full act here (it’s very long and wordy) but here’s a summary:
- If you reach or exceed six penalty points on your licence within two years of passing your driving test, your licence will be revoked.
- To get your licence back, you will need to pass both the theory and practical tests again.
- As an example, “minor” speeding offences (I use the term “minor” very reluctantly) carry 3 points. Get caught speeding twice and it’s goodbye to your licence. And it’s almost certainly hello to very expensive insurance when you get your licence back.
- If you already have points on your provisional licence then they stay on your full licence. Let’s say you have 3 points on your provisional licence. When you pass your test, your full licence will still have 3 points. Get caught speeding just once, and you’ve reached the six-point maximum.