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Coalition Calls for Manifesto Pledge to Protect Young Drivers

February 13, 2015

The statistics show time and again that young drivers are most at risk of accident, injury and even death when out on the roads. With this in mind, a coalition including the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) are calling for all major political parties to commit to providing safeguards for young drivers in their manifestos running up to the election in May.

With just months to go before a new government is elected, RoSPA and their coalition partners want all parties to agree to a specific Green Paper which focuses on young drivers and is designed to save lives, specifically the lives of hundreds of young adults aged 17 to 24 who are killed or seriously injured every year on roads across the UK.

In 2013 records show that 131 young drivers were killed on our roads and a further 1159 suffered serious injuries.

Pledge for Technology and Testing

In a letter sent to all parties, RoSPA have asked for them to consider a range of possibilities which could save the lives of many young drivers. Some of the suggestions include a graduated driving license, which would involve phased driving experiences for young drivers and also the requirement or some of compulsory telematics, usually in the form of black box technology.

Young drivers account for 20% of all road deaths, despite only making up around 1.5% of the driving population and the coalition dedicated to ensuring younger drivers are protected on the roads believe that real differences can be made through the publishing of a dedicated consultation document, with an aim of reducing the number of crashes involving younger drivers at its heart.

Graduated driving licenses run on a special system which involves building up your driving skills over time and are popular in other countries across the world. Structured and defined learning periods would make a graduated license stand out from the current driving test system as young drivers would be required to have a deeper and more thorough knowledge of road safety, best practice on the roads and many other elements of driving safely.

Black box technology is the popular name for road safety and in-vehicle monitoring which can be used to keep check of a driver’s safe use of the roads. Many young drivers opt for black box technology alongside their first insurance policy as it can keep their premiums lower, as long as they’re behaving safely on the roads. RoSPA believe that black box technology makes drivers more aware of their behaviour, from putting their seatbelt on to driving within speed limits and therefore reduces the risk of accidents.

Young Drivers at Risk on the Roads

Brake, the road safety charity, have researched the plight of young drivers and produced a wide range of interesting statistics. Their evidence shows that 23% of all young drivers will crash within two years of passing their test and that young male drivers are the highest risk group.

Learning to drive is something many people are desperate to do the second they turn 17 and it is integral that our government recognise the need to properly equip young drivers to give them the best possible start and ensure they are really safe and ready to be on the roads.