The Lagan Valley Alliance Party team has welcomed news that driving laws are to radically change in Northern Ireland, with plans expected to come into effect early next year.
The announcement made by Environment Minister Mark H Durkin will see the drink drive limit reduced by almost 40 percent, new drivers restricted for two years and a mandatory learning period of 12 months introduced.
Dr Jonathan McCrea, Alliance Party representative for Killultagh, said: “This is a major step, long overdue, to improve driving standards and road safety. The current alcohol limit is 80mg/100ml, but will be reduced to 50mg for most drivers and 20mg for newly qualified and professional drivers.
“Additional measures include: restrictions on the number of young passengers a newly qualified driver can carry. The 45mph speed limit will be removed, as has been the case in GB for decades, and learners will be taught to drive on motorways when accompanied by an Approved Driving Instructor in a dual-controlled car. There will also be a 12 month mandatory minimum learning period.
“I passed my driving test first time, a mere two months after turning 17. It felt great, but honestly, it was dangerous. Drivers between the ages of 17 and 24 are responsible for around 40 percent of fatal collisions. Everything which can be done should be done to protect these young lives. Life is too precious.”