New drivers could be banned from travelling at night as part of plans to improve road safety, the Government has said.
Under the rules, motorists, regardless of their age, will not be allowed to drive in the dark, in the months after passing their test.
The move comes as figures suggest one in five drivers are involved in a crash within a year of getting their full licence.
Plans for a graduated licence system to restrict novice drivers in England, Scotland and Wales were announced by the Department for Transport (DfT) on Thursday.
The system would impose a set of restrictions on new drivers who have recently passed their test, for an initial period of time.
As well as not driving at night, the DfT said the system could feature restrictions such as a minimum learning period and not driving with passengers under a certain age.
It did not specify how long the measures would be in place after someone had passed their driving test.
Road safety minister Michael Ellis said getting a driving licence could be both “exciting” and “daunting” for young people.
He said graduated driver licensing could “help new drivers to stay safe and reduce the number of people killed or injured on our roads”.
Similar schemes already operate in several parts of the world, including New York and California in the US, Ontario and British Columbia in Canada, New South Wales and Victoria in Australia, and across Sweden.
However, they have previously been rejected in Britain over concerns they would restrict young people from accessing education and employment.
Black box insurer insurethebox said the move would punishing towards drivers. It said a ban would be an ineffective and punitive solution to a very real problem in the fight against the high numbers of young drivers involved in serious accidents.
“This has been discussed before, but we remain certain that a curfew on young drivers is ‘a sledgehammer to crack a nut’,” explained Simon Rewell, road safety manager at insurethebox.
“Imposing punitive measures on young drivers could have an unfair impact on their lives, such as hampering their earning potential if they work in jobs which require night shifts or late-night duties.
“There are also questions around how this proposal will affect different locations, given that darkness falls as early as 5pm in certain regions of England – even earlier during winter – and may last until 7:30 am, when many young motorists will need to have left home for college, university or work.
“Our 4.5billion miles of telematics data does show that driving after 11pm significantly increases the risk of an accident for young motorists.
“The government should be looking at solutions to better prepare young, new drivers such as extended periods of learning so that this demographic of motorists can gain more experience in driving in different light and weather conditions. Restricting the number of passengers in the car is a good start,” he added.