New rules to place restrictions on 'novice' drivers

Rules coming into force next month will see people having to display an 'N' plate on their cars to show they are 'novice' drivers.

They will have the title for two years, in a move the Government says is an "important road safety measure".

Novice drivers will face a range of restrictions on their activities similar to their 'learner' counterparts.

Both groups risk losing their licence for six months if they clock up just seven penalty points, compared to the limit of 12 for fully qualified drivers.

Also, if they do not display their 'N' or 'L' plates they could be hit with a €60 fine.

The Department of Transport said that 'N' drivers will not have to have a qualified driver accompanying them, contrary to newspaper reports this morning.

Transport minister Leo Varadkar says the 'novice' category will help improve behaviour among inexperienced drivers.

The new law comes into force on August 1, and will only apply to those who get their first full licence after that date.

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