HC Deb 01 May 1973 vol 855 cc275-6W
Mr. J. H. Osborn

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will state his policy towards the EEC draft directive on the harmonisation of driving licence legislation following his consultations with motoring and other organisations.

Mr. Peyton

I have some reservations of which the more important are as follows:

Minimum ages for drivers: It would be directly contrary to road safety interests to have age restrictions which encouraged young people to start their motoring on the most dangerous machines. The present minimum age of 17 for both motorcycles and cars should be maintained. Moreover, 16 should remain the minimum age for driving invalid carriages.

Vehicle groupings: The draft directive would for example allow anybody who passed a test on a goods vehicle with a permissible maximum weight of 36 tonnes to drive the heaviest draw-bar trailer combination.

Driving Standards: No provision is made to secure a common standard for the practical driving test.

Medical examinations: The proposed examinations (5 million a year in Great Britain) would involve a use of resources which could not be justified by any consequential improvement in road safety.

New drivers: The proposed restrictions would be of doubtful value and difficult to administer.