As a driver of a vehicle it is your legal duty to ensure that you obey the rules of the road and you must hold a valid driver’s licence. You must have adequate insurance whether driving your own or another person’s vehicle. It is also your duty to inform your insurance company of any points you may have on your licence, as this could invalidate your insurance cover.
If you are the registered owner/ keeper of the car, it is your legal duty to ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy, adequately insured and taxed and that your details are up to date with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). It is also your duty to ensure anyone who you allow to drive your vehicle is adequately insured and holds a valid driver’s licence.
If you have just passed your driving test – congratulations!
However, 16 to 24 year olds are disproportionately represented in our killed or seriously injured (KSI) casualty statistics. They currently make up only 11% of the Humber population and only 7% of full driving license holders nationally, but account for 23% of all killed or seriously injured casualties. One in five newly qualified drivers has a crash within a year. However, the accident liability is reduced by nearly half after two years of driving experience.
Remember: newly qualified drivers are still on “probation” for a period of two years, but if you clock up six points or more during this period, you will lose your licence and revert to learner status again. Drivers have to retake both the theory and practical parts of the test.
The main penalty point offences are:
- Using a hand held mobile phone whilst driving: 6 points
- Speeding: 3-6 points
- Going through a red light: 3 points
- Careless driving: 3-9 points
- Driving without insurance: 6-8 points
- Failing to stop after an accident: 5-10 points
If you have six or more penalty points, you will get a letter telling you your licence is no longer valid. You should inform your insurance company immediately. You will have to apply for a new provisional licence to continue driving as a learner.
Remember, as a learner:
- You cannot drive on the motorway
- You must display L plates
- You cannot drive a car unless you are accompanied by someone over 21 who has had a full driving licence for at least three years
- You are limited to less powerful motorbikes
Older drivers have more experience. They are also likely to be more tolerant and confident too, which can mean they are safer on the road than other age groups.
But your sight, hearing and judgement may not be as sharp as they were. And driving is more complex and demanding than it used to be, with more traffic on the roads.
You need to take even greater care and adjust your driving habits to compensate for any deterioration in your eyesight or judgement. A simple adaptation to your car may help if you have mobility problems.
You must notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) of the onset or worsening of a medical condition that could affect your ability to drive safely, including heart problems, epilepsy and diabetes. If you are on prescribed medication, ask your doctor if it could affect your driving.
It is illegal to drive if you cannot read a number plate from 20.5m (67 feet) away. Have your eyes tested regularly, as changes in your eyesight can happen slowly and without you realising it.
Refresh your skills
Even experienced drivers can slip into bad habits, so it is a good idea to refresh your knowledge from time to time and keep up-to-date with changes in the law.
Renewing your licence
You must renew your licence when you reach the age of 70 and every three years afterwards. But there is no legal cut-off age when you should stop driving – it is really up to you. It won’t be an easy decision to make but don’t wait for an accident to convince you it is time to stop.