Why young drivers crash
Bold, practical steps must be taken to cut the number of young motorists killed and seriously injured on the road such as introducing a graduated licence that restricts behaviour, IAM RoadSmart advised the Government. Why? Because the number of collisions that involve young motorists is disproportionality high.
Director of Policy and Research, Neil Greig, explained why young people have more collisions than older, more experienced motorists.
‘The risk factors are well known', he said. ‘They include: lack of experience in all traffic conditions including rural roads, darkness, poor weather, distraction by peer passengers or mobile phones, and alcohol.’ The Government, therefore, needs to create a graduated licence that minimises such risk’, Neil Greig emphasised.
Graduated driving licence explained
The road safety charity further suggested how the graduated licence should work. Proposals include introducing a ‘post test phase’ that requires youngsters to take ‘refresher’ and ‘eco-driving’ lessons once they have passed the practical test to further optimise behaviour. There should be no other means to obtain a full licence.
The graduated licence should also impose further restrictions. Younger drivers should not be allowed to have more than one ‘peer passenger’, for instance. Peer passengers can be particularly distracting. However, there should be no restriction on the number of older passengers youngsters can carry.
Furthermore, graduated licence holders should not be permitted to get behind the wheel if they have consumed any alcohol. In other words, the associated drink-drive limit should be zero. Even a small amount of alcohol can impede performance. Other ideas to slash the number of youngsters killed include:
- National Curriculum to include road safety training
- 12 month minimum learning period
- learners to complete an ‘online log’ before taking the practical test
- test to include high speed driving (and rural roads)
- no night time curfew as it would make it harder for youngsters to get experience, hurt the economy, limit employment opportunities, and be difficult to enforce.
Lack of action ‘disgraceful’
IAM RoadSmart’s Neil Greig added: ‘Successive governments have brushed this issue under the carpet. That is disgraceful. Road crashes are the biggest killer of young people today. However, it gets scant attention in terms of time and effort at the top level of Government - and in the media - compared to knife crime or drugs.’
‘It is time that the Government took this seriously. It must show that it cares for the young people of the UK by supporting fundamental changes to save these valuable young lives’, he stated.