By David Millward
Learner drivers could fail their driving test if they pose a threat to the planet, under proposals being draw up by the European Commission.
Braking suddenly, revving the engine or wasting fuel by being too heavy on the accelerator pedal could prove costly.
This is because Brussels wants to include “eco-driving” – cutting carbon emissions at the wheel – in the practical driving test.
The plans, which could consign “boy racer” drivers to history, were unveiled earlier this week by Siim Kallas, the EU’s Transport Commissioner as part of a comprehensive road safety strategy for the next decade.
It would be achieved by widening the current EU Driving Licence Directive, which is binding on all member states.
In Britain “eco-driving” has been included in the written test since September 2008.
But making it part of the practical examination would mean that learner drivers would not only have to be safe drivers but also “clean” ones as well.
“This is absolutely ridiculous,” said Claire Armstrong of the motoring group, Safe Speed.
“How is driving in an environmentally unfriendly manner posing a danger to other road users.
“In any case people want to drive in an economical manner, because keeping a car on the road is so expensive.”
Andrew Howard, the AA’s head of road safety, also voiced some misgivings.
Eco-driving is one of a number of initiatives aimed at improving the next generation of drivers.
The EU also wants to introduce a probation period for newly qualified drivers, who would be subject to stricter restrictions than other motorists.