Proposals on road safety of young drivers circulated for comments
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has assessed proposals raised in the public debate and some other options for enhancing the road safety of young drivers. The Ministry has sent the assessment memorandum for a round of comments, which will end on 23 June 2021.
The assessment memorandum presents the challenges identified in the preparatory work by ministry officials and expert discussions and gives the Ministry's preliminary assessment on each proposal made to enhance road safety.
The memorandum mainly keeps to measures that could be influenced by amending the driving licence legislation or by developing its practical implementation.
“It is important to enable the future mobility of young people, taking account of road safety, so that they can get to school, hobbies and work everywhere in Finland. Legislation is the key method the Ministry of Transport and Communications can use for this. I hope that we will now get a wide and diverse range of advice on how to develop the regulations,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.
As the most recommendable among the options discussed, the Ministry considered restricting the driving of persons under the age of 18 at night. The restriction could apply to weekends (e.g., between 00.00–05.00) to reduce the negative impact of the restriction on working and hobbies.
The use of the new driver's sign could apply to the same group of drivers, i.e., drivers under 18 years of age, and facilitate enforcement of the above restriction.
The Ministry also considers the development of driver instruction in certain respects a feasible and recommendable option. Instruction could be enhanced either by developing the content of risk identification training or the instruction of the persons training for their first driving licence.
In addition to developing driver instruction, the Ministry recommends extending the driving ban training from driving license categories B and A, A1 and A2 to lower categories, such as AM/120, AM/121 and T. It could be regarded as an advantage of this proposal that the compulsory additional instruction would be targeted to the drivers who need it most and would not affect the general price level of the driving licence.
In addition to potential legislative changes, the driver health guidelines for healthcare professionals could be developed, taking young people's driver health into account better. More information could be provided on how to promote driver health.
In the consultation, the commentators are asked for feedback on the proposals made and views on their scope of application, i.e., whether they should target minors only or all new drivers.
The deadline for comments is 23 June 2021. Comments on the assessment memorandum can be submitted at www.lausuntopalvelu.fi or by emailing the comment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments may be submitted by all organisations and private individuals.
Following the consultation round, the Ministry of Transport and Communications will prepare a draft for a Government bill drawing on the feedback received on the assessment memorandum. The intention is to circulate the Government bill for comments in autumn 2021 and submit it to Parliament in spring 2022.
Saara Louko, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 50 326 4741
Sini Wirén, Director of Unit, Basic Services, tel. +358 40 507 0916