The Road Safety Authority (RSA) in Ireland has introduced nine additional measures to increase the safety of inexperienced drivers.

RSA CEO Noel Brett said the modern driving environment is particularly demanding and driver inexperience is a major risk factor in death and injury collisions on the roads.

The measures outlined in the RSA Strategy 2007-2012 enhance and modernise the way in which drivers are trained, tested and licensed in Ireland.

Starting 6 December, new first-time learner permit holders for motorcycles will have to complete 16 hours of mandatory training with an approved driving instructor, while the course will be 12 hours for car licences.

The penalty points allocated for serious offences will be increased for learner and novice drivers and a standard hazard perception test will be carried out, which will address their risk taking perception.

The authority has changed the driving test format, increased the role of the supervising driver accompanying learner drivers and requires drivers to display an R (restricted) plate for the first two years after passing the test.

The legislature has passed the law for reducing the drink driving limits for learner drivers and those in their first two years on a driving licence to 20mg/100ml, and will enforce it by 2011.