The learner’s driving licence, previously allowed to be renewed indefinitely, is set to only be valid for one year, according to a draft amendment to legislation proposed by the road transport department.

In a call to the public to submit their opinions on the new amendments of the law regarding driving licences, the department said on Friday it submitted the draft bill for consultation on June 29.

The amendments focus on the learner’s driving licence and people driving mopeds or motorcycles.

The department said it decided to go ahead with the amendments after identifying that under the current law, the student driving licence is valid for a period of one year and can be renewed indefinitely for further periods of one year each, without additional examinations.

“Driving on the road network concerning a learner driver is not considered properly regulated by the existing legislation,” the department said.

The current law suggests that a learner driver of a moped (as young as 17 years) is permitted on the public road network, as well as a learner of a motorcycle of up to 125cc, while a learner of a higher horse-power motorcycle cannot drive on public roads during their training. Those learners are only permitted in a closed space.

The department suggested that they be allowed to use the road network, if accompanied by a licenced driving instructor.

At the same time, the specific law, which was amended again last year, left space for delivery drivers on motorcycles and mopeds to drive with learner licences, the department said.

L signs were being observed on mopeds and motorcycles on a “daily basis in all delivery sectors”, it added.

The draft bill would provide that those driving a motorcycle or a moped with a learner’s permit, as well as delivery riders, would wear a helmet, a neon vest and trousers, as well as protective knee and elbow pads, gloves, plus back and hip protectors. Delivery professionals riding a motorcycle or a moped must also be equipped with motorcycle airbags according to the draft bill.

The proposal also provides a stricter sentence for professional drivers who don’t have the appropriate licence.

Delivery drivers found driving without the relevant licence will be subject to a fine of up to €6,000, and/or imprisonment for up to two years.

Interested parties should communicate relevant opinions by July 30 at [email protected], or using the FAX 22354030.