May 16, 2012


Radical changes are set to be made in Northern Ireland to the rules governing learner drivers.

At present new drivers for the first year after passing their practical driving test must display “R” plates (Restricted) which limits them to 45mph until the restricted period ends. However, Environment Minister Alex Attwood is considering allowing new drivers to travel at speeds of 70mph on the motorway.

Even more exciting for new drivers, is talks over lowering the legal age to obtain a drivers licence. At present, you have to be 17 years old in order to obtain a provisional licence however, they are considering reducing it to 16 years of age. There would be restrictions in place, such as you would not be allowed to take the test for a period of time, possibly up to a year. However, this still means that learners can start the learning process a year earlier at 16 and be ready to take the test at 17.

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