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Probationary period for novice drivers

Since 1 November 1986, a two-year probationary period applies to novice drivers. The risk of accidents due to novice drivers which results from their inexperience and high level of risk-taking typical for young people should be prevented by applying this probationary period. The probationary period has proven its worth. In the risk group of young drivers at fault in accidents, figures for conspicuous behaviour and recidivism in road traffic is declining considerably.

Young people in particular are frequently involved in road traffic accidents. Compared to their share in road traffic and their proportion of the total population, they continue to present a disproportionally high accident risk. The main reasons are a lack of sufficient driving experience and the age-related definite willingness to take risks. In this context, the age group of the 18- to 25-year-olds is particularly relevant.

Since 1 January 1999, individual measures apply to novice drivers: the participation in advanced seminars, the extension of the probationary period from two to four years and psychological consultation concerning road safety. This support measures are designed to ensure that the novice driver who has committed offences in road traffic realises the deficiencies in his attitude to road traffic, and reconsiders as well as changes his behaviour. Every year, 20,000 novice drivers lose their driving licence before the probationary period expires.