Too Young To DrIvE?
To mark the start of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety a campaign to overhaul the learning to drive system in this country has been launched. Road safety charity Brake’s ‘Too Young to Die’ campaign urges the government to introduce graduated driver licensing (GDL) in an effort to curb some of the more reckless driving behaviour exhibited by younger people.
The call follows a survey of 16-21 year olds, which reveals dangerously cavalier attitudes, particularly to speed and drink driving. The poll found that 40% think it’s alright to break a 30mph limit by 10mph or more; almost a quarter said they thought it was fine to drink one and a half pints before driving, with 9% of young males saying it is fine to drink more than this and drive.
Off the back of this survey Brake is calling for the introduction of a system where restrictions are placed on newly licensed young drivers. These include a curfew on driving to prevent late night speeding crashes; imposing a lower alcohol limit and restricting them from carrying young passengers (58% responded to the survey saying they drive more dangerously when they have passengers).
The ABI backs the campaign, describing the number of deaths and injuries involving young people as “unacceptable” and saying the current learning to drive regime is “failing young people”. ONS figures show that 15-24 year olds are more likely to die in a preventable road crash than from any other single cause.
Elsewhere official figures show that while one in eight young drivers aged 17-24 hold a licence they are involved in one in four road deaths and serious injuries. A fifth will crash in the first six months of passing their test. GDL already exists in many countries, with the aim of building up driving ability and experience over time on a structured basis.
Against these figures it becomes difficult to argue for GDL not to be introduced in this country too.
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