Call to curb young drivers
MORE than three in four people believe there should be restrictions on young drivers after they pass their test.
Most of those keen on some curbs reckon learners should have a minimum 12 months of lessons, a survey by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) found.
There was also strong support for late-night driving bans on newly-qualified motorists, changes to the driving test and restrictions on the number of young passengers a novice driver could carry.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin revealed at the weekend that the Government is looking at a variety of curbs on young drivers, including a ban on carrying passengers who are not members of their family, or any passengers at all.
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The ABI survey, to coincide with the start of Road Safety Week, was conducted by YouGov, with 3,742 people polled.
The survey found:
â Seventy-six per cent agreed that there should be restrictions on young drivers after passing their driving test;
â Seventy-one per cent supported restricting the number of young passengers that newly qualified young drivers were allowed to carry;
â Fifty-seven per cent agreed with a minimum 12-month learning period before taking the driving test to enable young drivers to gain more supervised practice;
â Sixty per cent supported changes to the driving test and the way in which it was conducted;
â Fifty-eight per cent supported a restriction on night-time driving (11pm-4am) for newly qualified young drivers.
The ABI pointed to statistics that showed that last year as many as 5,419 people were killed or seriously injured in accidents involving at least one young car driver.
Also, figures show that 40 per cent of 17-year-old males have an accident in their first six months of driving.
The ABI's head of motor James Dalton said: "Radical action is needed to reduce the tragic waste of young lives on our roads, especially among the 17-24 age group.
"A car is potentially a lethal weapon, and we must do more to help young drivers deal better with the dangers of driving.
"We are calling on MPs from all parties to join our campaign for safety for young drivers and encourage the Government to take these recommendations forward, helping today's young people become tomorrow's safe drivers."
A Department for Transport spokesman said: "Improving the safety and ability of young drivers is a key priority for the Government which is why we have made the driving test more realistic and are also considering how to improve training for drivers after they pass their test.
"There are no plans to introduce graduated licensing in England and Wales. However, we are working with young people, the insurance industry and other key partners to identify what more can be done to ensure that newly qualified drivers are properly prepared and drive safely. We will consider carefully any ideas that reduce the risks of accidents involving young drivers."