Young drivers in England could be banned from driving at night under plans for a graduated licence system.
The idea comes after figures showing that a fifth of young drivers are involved in an accident during their first year behind the wheel.
As well as not driving at night, restrictions could include a minimum learning period and not driving with passengers under a certain age.
There are already graduated driver licensing systems in parts of the US, Canada and Australia, but Britain had steered clear of the idea over concerns they would restrict access to education and employment for young people.
Currently a young driver can lose their licence if they get six penalty points within the first two years of driving but there are no restrictions on driving time or passengers.
Road safety minister Michael Ellis said: “We have some of the safest roads in the world but we are always looking at ways to make them safer.
“Getting a driving licence is exciting for young people, but it can also be daunting as you’re allowed to drive on your own for the first time.
“We want to explore in greater detail how graduated driver licensing – or aspects of it – can help new drivers to stay safe and reduce the number of people killed or injured on our roads.”
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Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for road safety charity Brake, said: “We must do all we can to keep young drivers safe and this starts with making our licensing process more robust.”
Nick Lloyd, acting head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: “RoSPA welcomes this trial and believes that it will allow young drivers to gain valuable experience, whilst reducing the risks associated with night time driving and the carrying of multiple passengers.”
But AA president Edmund King said: “For many people, excessive post-test restrictions could negate the purpose of them having a driving licence in the first place – such as driving to work on early or late shifts when public transport is not convenient.
“This is why any post-test restrictions must be properly researched and piloted first to ensure they do not place an unnecessary burden on new drivers.”
The DfT said any changes to licensing would be consulted on before being made law.