Abstract There is a growing recognition that the antecedents of risky driving attitudes can be traced to the pre-driving period. Few measures of driving-specific risk taking aimed at pre-drivers (defined here as those who are not permitted to drive independently) have been validated, however, meaning our understanding of the development of risky driving attitudes is limited. This paper reports the construction of a self-report Violation Willingness Scale (VWS) for pre-drivers, examination of the existing Attitudes to Driving Violations Scale (ADVS) in pre-drivers and some preliminary data on the development of propensity to risky driving. Study One found that the VWS and ADVS had strong psychometric properties in a sample of pre-drivers aged 16–19years of age. Study Two found the VWS and ADVS showed moderate to strong and somewhat independent relationships with a number of existing measures of risky driving behaviour in a sample of fully licensed drivers (age range 18–65years). This evidence supports the ADVS and VWS as valid tools to measure the propensity to risky driving in pre-drivers. We also discuss preliminary evidence on the relationship between propensity to risky driving and stage of driver training and experience, which indicates that willingness to commit most violations diminishes with driving experience while attitudes and willingness to speed become riskier.