Consultation on Graduated Driver Licensing launched

A consultation on proposed changes required to implement Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) and change the practical driving test opens today.

The framework for GDL has already been approved by the NI Assembly and forms part of the Road Traffic (Amendment) Act (NI) 2016 (“the Act”). The Act also gives the Department powers to make further subordinate legislation which will set out the more detailed GDL provisions.

This consultation seeks views on both the detail of GDL and the proposed changes to the driving test. The new proposals include:

  • Changes to legislation that would permit learners to drive on motorways providing they are accompanied by a suitably qualified Approved Instructor;
  • New post-test plating arrangements;
  • Exemptions from the mandatory minimum learning period for those entitled to claim Carer’s Allowance and for members of the Armed Services;
  • Changes to the practical driving test, for example, increasing independent driving including the use of a sat nav during the test; extending the hours during which driving tests can be conducted; and including a test candidate’s failure to demonstrate eco safe driving techniques as a possible reason for failing the driving test;
  • The content and structure of the programme of training and the logbook used to record training; and
  • Exemptions from completing a logbook for those required to resit the practical driving test having been disqualified or having had their licence revoked.

Responses to the consultation exercise will help define how GDL will be implemented on the ground. These regulations will be submitted to the Infrastructure Minister and the Assembly in due course.  

The consultation opens today and will run until 17 January 2018. The consultation paper can be accessed at here.