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Should new drivers be able to carry passengers in their first year of driving?

By Tom Gibson | April 9, 2024


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Grieving families push for law change for under-25s

Should new drivers be able to carry passengers in their first year of driving?

Three parents who lost children to road accidents are campaigning for stricter regulations around new drivers to help prevent the loss of young lives on the roads.

Crystal Owen, Carla King and Jo Alkir have each lost a child after an accident involving a new driver and now they’re urging the Department for Transport to implement a graduated driving license scheme.

The scheme would restrict new drivers who are under 25 years old from carrying passengers during their first 12 months after obtaining their license.

Crystal’s son, Harvey, was one of four teenagers from the Shrewsbury area who died in a crash in the rural village of Garreg last year.

Carla lost her son Ben when 17-year-old driver, Owain Hammett-George, was speeding at an alarming 78mph on a 30mph stretch of road. Ben, along with his friend Kaitlyn Davies, lost their lives instantly, while another passenger suffered life-changing injuries.

Jo Alkir's daughter Olivia was just 17 when she tragically lost her life in a crash in Denbighshire in June 2019. Olivia was a passenger when a newly licensed driver was racing with another boy and crashed less than a mile from Olivia's home.

The above cases are undoubtedly heart-breaking and it’s easy to understand why a scheme like the one the parents are proposing makes sense. Data shows that young drivers are typically the most dangerous drivers, hence sky-high insurance costs, while most of us who have experience behind the wheel are neither as keen to show off or always in as much of a hurry to get from A to B as some of those who have just passed their test.

On the other side, should all new drivers be prevented from living their lives quite as freely as they should be able to because of the actions of a small minority?

As it stands, the Department for Transport has no plans for stricter restrictions on new drivers although they say there are committed to improving road safety through ongoing research and targeted campaigns.

Where do you stand on the debate? Let us know in the comments below. 

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