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P plates can help new drivers become more confident

Monday 27th May, 2013 at 18:05 COMMENTS (0)

P plates can help new drivers become more confident. 

When a learner driver passes their driving test, they usually feel a huge sense of achievement and freedom, regardless of how many times they have taken the exam.  After gaining a full driving licence, many motorists choose to ceremoniously rip up their L plates. 

However, once the initial buzz of being able to drive unsupervised has gone, many inexperienced motorists may find that the road can be daunting and unpredictable, especially on motorways where learner drivers will have been unable to gain any previous experience during their driving lessons. 

Although many first-time drivers may be confident that they have already learnt all they need to know when it comes to handing a car, most drivers actually continue to learn about the complexities of the road even when they have been driving for a significant number of years. 

New motorists may find that displaying P plates on their vehicle after passing their driving test will help to make the transition of going from a learner to a fully qualified driver a little bit easier. 

It has been suggested that all new drivers should be forced to display green P plates to help warn other motorists they are inexperienced and may be prone to making mistakes. 

The letter 'P' stands for 'probationary', and indicates to other road users that the driver of the marked vehicle is unlikely to have had much experience on the roads.  This knowledge may make other motorists behave more leniently towards new drivers in certain circumstances, or indeed have the complete opposite effect. 

It is not compulsory in the UK for drivers to display P plates, but many holders of first time car insurance may find it beneficial to use them for a few months after passing their practical test.  There is no official guidance regarding how long a driver should display P plates, motorists can simply keep them on their vehicle until they feel confident enough to drive without them. 

Our view

Consider how poorly motorists treat learner drivers displaying 'L' plates, whilst knowing there is typically a professional driving instructor accompanying the student, indeed, many driving instructors often think it would in fact be safer not to display L plates at all. 
How inconsiderate do you think those same drivers would treat the lone 'P' plate driver? Knowing how vulnerable P plate drivers are on the road, it would be easy for drivers to bully them,increasing the possibility of pushing them into making a mistake and potentially causing an accident. 

If P plates were forced upon all newly qualified drivers without regard to ability and confidence, it would give young motorists a bad impression of law enforcement that they would carry into the future. 

Also, P Plate carriers could be treated unfairly in accidents as witnesses could automatically think it was their fault due to lack of experience and apportion the blame to them. 

If a learner driver has received suitable training and has taken the driving test when they were absolutely ready, based upon, being able to drive consistently, well with confidence and without help from their driving instructor, displaying P plates is not necessary. 

What do you think? As always, we welcome your opinions and experiences.

 

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