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P Plates: Common Rules and Regulations

p plates

Congratulations on passing your practice test! But there is much more to learn as a new learner driver in these exciting times. While learning to drive, part of the essential requirement of the P plate to ensure other drivers that you’ve just passed your learning phase.

Using the P plate on your vehicle will make other drivers sympathize with you by giving you more time to think while deciding on roundabouts and cross junctions.

FleetSpeak will help you understand P plates and the legal requirements for using them on the road as a learner driver. Here are some rules and regulations every driver should be aware of before purchasing the P plate.

What are P Plates?

P Plates, rather known as probationary plates, are used in the UK to identify new drivers who have recently passed their driving test and have less experience behind the wheel.

Unfortunately, new drivers are more likely to be involved in road accidents each year infact; the research shows the first two years of withholding the driving licence is the most risk young drivers partake in. The mortality rate dramatically decreases by nearly 50% as the driver passes two years behind the wheel.

Must Read: How to prevent roadway accidents involving pedestrians?

Did you know?

Studies show that young drivers around 17-24 years old are more prone to get involved in road accidents than those around 25-39 years. It’s worth following the precautions.

Source: Brake the road safety charity, 2020

However, displaying P Plates makes it easier for other road users to anticipate their actions and adjust their own driving accordingly. Additionally, P Plates can help new drivers be aware of their limitations and drive more cautiously.

Should I Use P Plates?

Once you’ve successfully passed your driving test, FleetSpeak recommends you use the P Plates until you are 100% sure of your driving skill.

Before making sure you are confident to drive in all weather conditions, long distances, and solo driving, it’s suggested not to take your P Plate off your vehicle.

Drivers have to have the patience to carve the confidence behind the wheel as it could potentially take them weeks or months further.

Please do not feel guilty about using the P Plates due to the misconception that they are too cool to use or frowned upon. Using them is necessary while travelling long distances or on a motorway for the first time.

What are the rules for using P Plates?

Although P Plates are essential in several countries, there are no particular rules or regulations to use them in England, Scotland & Wales.

P Plates are not considered compulsory to use as it’s the driver’s decision to display them on their vehicle. Although, there is an ongoing discussion to bring the P Plate compulsion scheme into action to make drivers lawfully abide by the P Plates for the first six months of their driving test.

Considering other countries like Australia & New South Wales, drivers with less experience must use P Plates for a minimum of 24 months with extra speed limit surveillance with zero alcohol ingestion.

What is the difference between Green P Plates & Red P Plates?

In the UK, a Green P plate indicates that a driver is a provisional (learner) driver and must be accompanied by a fully qualified driver whenever they are behind the wheel.

A Red P plate indicates that the driver has recently passed their driving test and is still considered a relatively new driver.

Red P plate drivers are subject to some restrictions, such as a curfew and a restriction on the number of passengers they can carry. The red P plate drivers should be careful and drive more cautiously especially if they are under 25.

Where to display P Plates?

Much like L Plates & D Plates, P Plates should be displayed on the front and back of your vehicle to ensure they are visible to other drivers on sight.

The Plate should also be fitted onto the window to let the other drivers see them clearly from a far distance.

After completing the driving test successfully, you can replace your insight L Plate with a P Plate sticker provided by your instructor.

For more information, head to an essential guide: Driving lessons and learning to drive by UK.GOV.

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