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Is 17 too young to drive? Brits have their say on the UK's driving age limit?

THE UK driving theory test has recently undergone some major changes, as the existing written exam has now been replaced with a more visual approach, in a bid to make it more accessible and modern.

With driving tests frequently being updated, data from GOV.UK indicates theory test pass rates have plummeted in recent years, now at just 49.1% in comparison to 51.6% in 2014. Practical pass rates are also at an all time low, with just 47.1% of learners passing 1st time.

As both tests become seemingly more difficult to pass, Uswitch surveyed 1,000 Brits to find out whether they think we should raise the age limit for drivers, and whether elderly drivers should be required to retake their test.

Uswitch found that almost ½ of Brits think the UK driving age limit should be raised!

Despite young drivers having higher 1st time pass rates, it doesn't mean they are safer. In fact, research shows 23% of young drivers are involved in a road incident within 2 years of passing their test.

When asked about the current age limit in place, almost ½ of Brits think the age limit should be raised, as 17 is too young to take a driving test.

22.76% of those asked said the legal driving age should be increased to 18, whilst 20.46% think it should be further restricted to 21. 46% of those over the age of 35 were in favour of this, in comparison to just ⅟10 of those aged 16 to 24.

In the majority of European countries, the driving age limit is 18, with the UK, Germany, Slovakia, Italy and Denmark amongst the only countries where the limit is 17.

The driving age in France is shockingly low at just 15, however not many Brits think this should be applied in the UK, with just 6.29% in favour of it being decreased.

Should elderly drivers be required to retake their driving tests?

Whilst elderly learners are least likely to pass 1st time, there's no evidence to suggest they are more likely to have an accident on the road.

However, as most people age, general health and fitness, eyesight, hearing, reaction times and physical mobility will begin to deteriorate. For example, tests have shown that reaction time in response to hazards increases with age, which can have a huge impact when driving.

Currently, after the age of 70, drivers are legally required to renew their license every 3 years. This, however, is a simple process whereby no further tests take place.

When asked if they agree with the current requirements, our study shows 39.3% of Brits think drivers should be legally obliged to have a medical examination to ensure they are fit to drive. Interestingly, 40.1% of participants over the age of 55 want this measure to be put in place, in comparison to 32.8% of those aged 16 to 24, suggesting older drivers are wearier of those over 70 and their potential risk on the road.

Alongside this, 22.66% revealed that they think elderly should have to retake their theory test every few years to prove they are able to quickly spot a hazard. For the 2nd time, it's those over the age of 55 who are most in favour of this, with one quarter agreeing it should be required.

Shockingly, almost 10% of participants revealed they think drivers over the age of 70 should be banned from driving completely, as the risk they impose on the road is too high. Those under the age of 35 were most in favour of this, in comparison to just 4.0% of those over 55.

Whilst there's no maximum age limit on driving in the UK, all drivers are obliged to report any health concerns to the DVLA. Elderly drivers are also advised to use their own judgement to assess whether they feel fit to drive, and to avoid getting behind the wheel if they think their health could impact their ability.

How does your age impact insurance?

Whilst both young and elderly drivers are often scrutinised on their driving abilities, it's younger drivers who face higher costs when it comes to car insurance.

Uswitch car insurance expert, Florence Codjoe, says:- "Insurance for young drivers is typically high because they're less experienced on the road, and are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident than older drivers. However, having a black box installed and choosing a car that's cheaper to insure can significantly help reduce your premiums. All cars fall under an insurance group of between one and 50. Group one cars are the cheapest to insure, while group 50 are the most expensive. So, if you're yet to buy your car, doing plenty of research beforehand could really pay off. Cars with lower engine capacity can also be cheaper to insure, not to mention, they are better for the environment."

For older drivers, insurance premiums can be much cheaper, however it's important you know the rules on renewing your license once you reach 70, otherwise you could invalidate your insurance if you let it expire.

Our expert added:- "This year, due to Covid19, anyone over the age of 70 with a licence due for renewal any time from 1 February 2020 will have the validity of their current plastic photo card extended by 11 months; therefore into 2021. All drivers, regardless of age, must notify the DVLA of the onset or worsening of a medical condition which may affect the ability to drive safely. It's also illegal to drive if you can't read a number plate from 20.5 metres away; so if you wear glasses, make sure your prescription is up to date."

If you have any updates views on the report, please email them to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

Nominations open for the 2020 Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards

LIVERPOOL City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has launched the nominations for this year's Culture and Creativity Awards to celebrate creative activity that has brought people together within their communities, in real life or virtually, over the last year.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said:- "It's safe to say that 2020 has been an exceptionally challenging year for everyone, but in spite of that, our Region has still shown a remarkable level of creativity to continue to adapt and innovate. In such difficult times, we are lucky to have such a dynamic and inventive cultural sector across our Region, to keep us entertained and our spirits up. We want to recognise the brilliant work from individuals and organisations who have helped us get through these difficult months. Personally, I'd love to see some nominations for some of our amazing voluntary and community groups, who aren't always recognised, but have really stepped up and come to the fore since the pandemic struck."

Covid19 continues to have a massive impact on the cultural and creative sector, yet despite this, people have found new and innovative ways to be creative. To recognise these special contributions, 2 new categories have been introduced to this year's awards.

Covid19 Creative Response (organisation)

Covid19 Creative Response (individual)

These new awards are to recognise and acknowledge individuals and organisations who have used culture and creativity to make a significant impact on people's lives during the Covid19 Pandemic.

Culture is not only defined as professional arts, cultural events and performances. It also includes the voluntary and community sector who use creative approaches that are innovative and transformational. Nominations are welcomed from these areas.

The Culture and Creativity awards were created as part of the Metro Mayor's for Culture initiative, to recognise the value and power for change that the arts, cultural and creative sector can bring in reinforcing the City Region as one of the most vibrant and exciting places to:- live, work, study, visit or do business.

2019's inaugural awards attracted more than 300 nominations and 2,500 votes for the People's Choice category. The 2020 awards will recognise arts and cultural events, innovation and creative activity that has taken place within the Liverpool City Region, during the period 1 April 2019 to 12 November 2020.

Nominations can include an individual, organisation, business, group or partnership that, has demonstrated outstanding creative achievement through cultural activity at a local, Borough or Liverpool City Region level.

Phil Redmond and Maggie O' Carroll, the Co-Chairs of the Cultural Partnership are looking forward to the nominations coming in. Phil said:- "2020 has undoubtedly been an exceptionally challenging year on the cultural sector and organisations have gone above and beyond to rise to the challenge and connect with people in so many different ways. But these awards are not just about traditional forms of culture and creativity. There have also been so many ways in which communities have been supported, encouraged and inspired to creatively respond and reflect over this time and I think it's important to also celebrate that hard work and creativity. I'm looking forward to seeing the results of all that creative energy."

Maggie O' Carroll, who is also CEO of The Women's Organisation added:- "While the Region's museums, art galleries, theatres and music venues may have had to close their doors to the public for the best part of the year, it is still abundantly clear that the cultural and creative sector is at the very heart of communities, particularly in times of crisis. We have seen countless ventures and projects adapt and launch in the face of adversity over the last 6 months to engage audiences in new and innovative ways. Indeed, cultural and creative interventions have offered a much needed respite and source of inspiration during these difficult months and have proved invaluable in supporting people in their own health and well being. That's why this year's Culture and Creativity Awards are so important. They will create space for our Region to sit back and recognise the value of our shared culture and creativity, and will offer an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the determination of the organisations and people who have been working so hard to sustain their businesses and continue offering all important interventions for the community. As we look towards economic recovery, we must not forget the importance of this sector and we must ensure that it is properly supported to make a full recovery through substantial investment."

Nominees must live, study and/or work in the Liverpool City Region (eg. Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral) or have created work / projects that significantly benefit the residents or visitors to the Liverpool City Region and / or has positively contributed to the development of the local economy.

Finalists will be chosen from a panel of judges including:- Cultural Partnership Co-Chairs, Phil Redmond and Maggie O' Carroll, Michelle Charters the CEO of Kuumba Imani, Alastair Machray, Editor in Chief, Reach PLC Merseyside and North Wales, Claire McColgan, Director of Culture Liverpool and Dinah Birch, Pro Vice Chancellor for Cultural Engagement, University of Liverpool.

Nominations can be completed online and the closing date for entrants and nominations is 13 November 2020. After this date the judging panel will shortlist the finalists for each category from the nominations received. For the People's Choice Award; Outstanding Contribution to Culture, the Liverpool City Region community will then be able to vote for their chosen winner.

The ceremony, which will be a digital event, with presenters still to be announced, takes place in February 2021. More details will be revealed in due course. For more information about the categories and how to nominate or apply to be considered please go to:- LiverpoolCityRegion-CA.Gov.UK

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