A revamp of the driving test will begin soon after Easter, according to a report in the Daily Mail last week.
The driving age will effectively rise to 18 as the test system becomes more difficult and pre-test training more complicated. Learners will still be granted their provisional licence from 17 but will need a year to pass the beefed-up test.
Candidates will have to master key skills of the current driving test - including parallel parking, reversing around a corner and the three-point turn - before they are allowed to take the tougher test.
An instructor will sign each key skill off in a logbook, and the theory test will also be beefed up.
A Whitehall source said: "This way the government can effectively raise the driving age to 18 without having to specifically legislate."
Scottish government wants random drink drive testing
The Scottish government has called on its Westminster counterpart to cut drink-drive limits and introduce random testing.
The call came from justice minister Kenny MacAskill in a public plea to transport secretary Ruth Kelly. He said: "If the UK government is willing to grasp the nettle then they can help save lives on Scotland's roads.”
His call to cut the limit from 80 to 50 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood was backed by the British Medical Association.
BMA spokeswoman Dr Sally Winning said: "There is evidence that blood alcohol concentration over 50mg/100ml impairs driving and it is estimated that around 65 lives could be saved in the UK by lowering the limit from 80mg to 50mg.
"In Scotland there is wide-ranging support for legislation to reduce the drink-drive limit, but this is a matter reserved to Westminster and they have been stalling on this issue for more than a decade."
Robert Gifford, executive director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for
Transport Safety (PACTS), will discuss the future of road safety in The Lounge, the discussion space in UK-MoRSE, the national road safety monitoring facility.
Rob will host a discussion on the PACTS’ document Beyond 2010: a Holistic Approach to Road Safety on 28 March at 10:00am. The Lounge is open to registered users and guests - to join in go to: uk-morse.com
Rob can also be seen discussing the issues surrounding the future of road safety with Naomi Dunn in the latest edition of the web TV programme LoungeTV. The 15-minute programme can be viewed now at: uk-morse.com
Charity and solicitors team up
A service for people seriously injured in road crashes in East Anglia has been launched by road safety charity Brake, working in partnership with Kester Cunningham John Solicitors.
Brake has produced a comprehensive guide offering practical information and emotional support to people who have suffered a life-changing serious injury on the roads.
’Advice for victims, families and friends following a serious injury in a road crash’ is distributed free to victims (and their carers) suffering injuries including severe burns, head injuries, loss of limbs and paralysis.
Motorists on a section of the M42 are now allowed to drive on the hard shoulder at up to 60mph as the Highways Agency steps up work on congestion-busting techniques proposed for roll-out on motorways across the country.
The M42 'active traffic management' scheme has previously operated at a maximum of 50mph. The government undertook a safety study before giving the go ahead, which showed there would be ‘no significant reduction in road safety levels’.
Roads minister Tom Harris said: "Hard shoulder running has proven to be a powerful congestion-tackling tool - now we're looking to maximise the benefits and increasing the speed limit is part of that. We don’t want to slow motorists unnecessarily when they could safely be travelling more quickly.”
New glasses can find lost car keys Scientists have invented a pair of glasses that will help you remember where you put your car keys.
The Smart Goggle records everything the wearer sees - and can recognise objects, reports the Daily Telegraph. So you can tell the glasses what you're looking for and the technology will show you when, and where, you last saw it.
Inventor Yasuo Kuniyoshi and his team at Tokyo University School of Information Science and Technology have created the world's most advanced object recognition software.
The experimental model is too large for everyday use, but Prof Kuniyoshi's team is working on miniaturising it.
In theory, the only question that the glasses will not be able to answer is: "Where have I put my glasses?".
Commuter swaps car for canoe Sick and tired of sitting in rush-hour traffic, trainee architect Ricardo Assis Rosa has gone a step further than most commuters who give up their cars - he now canoes every day between work and home.
Mr Rosa, 29, pulls a waterproof jacket and trousers over his suit before paddling the two-mile journey to work near Bath in Somerset. He even chains the canoe to the bicycle railings outside his office.
Mr Rosa, whose top speed is no more than two miles per hour, said it was worth avoiding the congested roads and car fumes. It takes him 35 minutes to canoe to work, and the only obstacles in his way are swans - which let him through in return for morsels of bread.
Mr Rosa said: "Canoeing takes longer than going by car, but it is a lot more pleasant.”