At Thompson’s we would like to reassure all our clients that as far as possible we are operating as normal. The health and safety of our staff and clients is our primary concern during this outbreak and as such we are reviewing the situation on a regular basis and will be adapting our working practices following government guidelines. However, we have had to make some minor changes to how we are doing things.

Following Government guidelines, we have temporarily closed all of our offices and our staff are now all working from home using secure technologies to ensure they are able to continue to progress with existing and new cases as normal. All face to face meetings have been cancelled, however we are continuing to hold these meetings via phone and video calls. All the team are contactable on their direct dial numbers and email should you need to speak with your solicitor, please do not hesitate to talk to us about anything during this time.

We know these are uncertain and unsettling times for many of our clients, and the wider population, and things might look a little different for the foreseeable future. But our focus remains on our dedication, knowledge and strength that we provide to all our clients. We will continue to provide updates over the coming days and weeks in accordance with official guidelines and to keep everyone informed of the situation.

As always, for any concerns, advice and updates on your case; Talk to Thompsons.

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Thompsons Solicitors Scotland
Thompsons Solicitors Scotland

Driving on motorways used to require a full licence. However from 4th June 2018 that is no longer the case. Learner drivers will be permitted onto motorways, as long as they are with an approved driving instructor in a dual control car. This change is part of a raft of changes of late to better prepare young drivers and reduce road traffic accidents. The number of fatal or serious accidents involving young drivers has fallen each year since 2000. However, thousands of young drivers are involved in fatal or serious road traffic collisions each year. 17-24 year olds make up 1.5% of licence holders, yet are involved in 9% of the fatal and serious road traffic accidents each year.

Learner DriverWhilst there a number of factors which contribute to that, it is largely due to inexperience. That of course can be overcome by proper preparation. The test has undergone major changes of late to prepare drivers for driving on modern roads. The test was recently adapted to involve using a satellite navigation system.

Until this month the first time a young driver could use a motorway was after they pass their test. They would therefore require to either pay for additional Pass Plus lessons, go out with a relative, or simply brave it alone. Whilst there are less accidents on motorways than country roads, they are a very daunting prospect for new drivers. This change allows drivers to practice with an instructor, in a duel controlled car and therefore by the time they pass their test actually be prepared for the roads they will encounter.

This is a positive small step towards putting better prepared drivers on our roads. However, we need a huge leap. We need young drivers who are confident in all road types and all road conditions. There are ten times more accidents on country roads. There are significantly more accidents in icy conditions, on roundabouts, and at night. At present a new driver can pass their test and not have experienced any of these, let alone them all cumulatively. 

There is no required number of lessons, or hours on the road before a person can obtain a full licence. Simply the ability to drive properly for 1 hour on a piece of road they will be used to, during daylight hours. Brake recommends a 12 month learner period and thereafter a 2 year novice period where restrictions are imposed such as late night driving. They point out only 4% of collisions occur on motorways.

There have never been more cars on the road. One small mistake can cost lives. Now is the time for a complete rethink, not just of the test, but of a holistic overhaul of how young drivers are trained. Surely they deserve to be properly prepared and  should have proven they can deal with all road conditions and all road types before being let loose on the road?  

Blog by Alan Calderwood, Accident Solicitor

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