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Learning to Drive Consultation 2008
In May 2008 the Department of the Environment consulted on how to strengthen the way that people learn to drive and are tested. These proposals were set out in a paper called Learning to Drive. A summary of the Northern Ireland responses received to that consultation, and the Department's comments on those responses, can be accessed by clicking on the link below.
Review of the Learner and Restricted Driver Schemes and Graduated Driver Licensing Consultation 2011
Northern Ireland's Road Safety Strategy to 2020 sets targets (measured against the baseline of the 2004-2008 average) to reduce deaths and injuries on our roads and, specifically, to reduce the number of young people (aged 16 to 24) killed or seriously injured in road collisions by at least 55% by 2020.
In light of these targets and amid concerns at the continuing over-representation of young, often inexperienced, drivers in fatal and serious road collisions the Department of the Environment has carried out a review of the Learner (L) and Restricted (R) driver schemes and to assess the potential effectiveness of Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL).
Its consultation on proposals to reform the L and R driver schemes and on the introduction of a system of GDL ran from 15 March to 19 July 2011. The consultation documents can be viewed by clicking on the links below:
A total of 688 responses were received to the consultation and a synopsis of those responses can be viewed by clicking on the link below:
The options for changes to the L and R driver schemes and the potential introduction of GDL would mainly affect young people. The Deapartment of the Environment therefore commissioned a series of focus groups to gather the views of young people and young adults from ages 14 to 25 to support the consultation. The report on the focus groups can be viewed by clicking on the link below:
On May 29 2012, Minister for the Environment, Alex Attwood, announced his decision on the way forward on the L and R driver schemes and GDL. Information on the planned changes and how they take account of the consultation responses can be viewed by clicking on the links below:
On 5 July 2012 the NI Executive agreed in full to the policy and to the drafting of the necessary legislation. A Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill has been drafted and will have to progress through the Northern Ireland Assembly's legislative process before the changes can come into effect.

If you require any further information please contact:
Claire Aldridge
Driver Policy Branch
Road Safety and Vehicle Regulation Division
Department of the Environment
Clarence Court
10-18 Adelaide Street
Town Parks
Belfast
BT2 8GB
Tel:        0300 200 7838
Email:    claire.aldridge@doeni.gov.uk