Closed petition Change the legal driving age to 15

I would like the Government to change the legal driving age to 15 because I believe that 15 and 16 year olds can be trusted to drive a car and should be able to get a driving licence. I belief the current situation is unfair, and inconsistent with the Equality Act 2010.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

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Government responded

This response was given on 10 October 2023

The Government has no current plans to lower the legal driving age. This is because young drivers remain as one of the highest fatality groups.

The Government is committed to improving the safety of all road users, especially young drivers who are at a greater risk of being involved in a collision.

People can start driving a car when they reach 17 years old and some 16 year olds who are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance at the higher rate are allowed to take their driving test early given their restricted mobility.

Decisions on the minimum driving age requirements have been taken and maintained based on years of detailed evidence. The Government considers that the current minimum driving age requirements for obtaining a driving licence are consistent with the Equality Act 2010 as they can be objectively justified for the reasons set out below.

The number of car fatalities involving 17-24-years-olds on Britain’s roads is falling. We have seen a drop in the number of 17-24-year-olds killed from 448 in 1990, to 158 in 2010 and to 101 in 2022, a 77% total decrease since 1990. However, in terms of population and in the number of miles driven, 17-24-year-olds remain as one of the highest road casualty risk groups, especially male car drivers. In 2022, the rate of killed and seriously injured (KSI) casualties per billion miles was 4 times higher for male car drivers aged 17 to 24 than all car drivers aged over 25.

Only a few countries/territories have a driving age of 16 – USA, Northern Australia, Colombia, Croatia and those countries have worse road safety records than the UK.

It is accepted that although adolescents stop growing physically around the age of 18, cognitive skills aren’t fully formed until the age of 25. This means that biological factors can mean those under 25 are at greater risk of injury or death on the roads. Once a driver has a full car licence, they are entitled to drive vehicles up to 3,500kgs and they can drive anywhere without restriction, including on motorways. Therefore, due to the safety concerns set out above, we do not consider that we can accede to your request to lower the minimum driving age to 15.

Department for Transport