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Majority of Brits want a graduated licence for young drivers

The majority of UK drivers are in favour of a graduated driving licence to help reduce the number of young drivers killed or seriously injured.

Knowing 2,088 drivers aged between 17 and 24 were killed or seriously injured in one year, road safety charity Brake asked 1,000 drivers their thoughts on putting restrictions on drivers who have recently passed their test.

79 per cent said they felt there should be a minimum time frame for learning to drive, with 67 per cent believing it should be at least six months. 20 per cent said it should be at least a year.

75 per cent, meanwhile, said they thought there should be a minimum number of teaching hours before being allowed to take the practical test. Half of those questioned thought at least 35 hours would be the correct amount and 25 per cent said it should be at least 50 hours.

On the subject of what restrictions should be implemented, 66 per cent supported the use of a mandatory ‘P’ probation plate for new drivers. 63 per cent said a zero-tolerance drink-drive policy would also help.

50 per cent said a maximum engine size would also be of benefit, while 44 per cent agreed on a restriction on carrying young passengers unless family members or dependants.

Other suggestions favoured by respondents included restrictions on driving between midnight and 4am unless for work or education (38 per cent) and revocation of their driving licence if they any traffic laws are broken within a year of passing (35 per cent).

Young drivers are said to represent just 1.5 per cent of UK driving licence holders, yet they are involved in 9 per cent of all fatal and serious crashers when they are the driver.

In fact, those aged 16 to 19 are a third more likely to die in a crash than those aged 40 to 49. Not only that, 23 per cent of those aged 18 to 24 crash within two years of passing their driving test.

Research from the Department for Transport suggests £224 million a year could be saved and 4,471 casualties avoided if restrictions were brought in for novice drivers aged between 7 and 19.

Brake communications and campaigns adviser Alice Bailey said: “Our first years behind the wheel are among the most dangerous of our lives, with one in five new drivers crashing in their first six months on the road.

“We must do more to help keep young people safe behind the wheel. Countries and states that have introduced restrictions for newly qualified drivers have seen big drops in crash rates.

“We’re pleased to hear the government has announced plans for a full review into the current driving test this year, with a view to making it more like “real life driving” but the introduction of graduated driving licencing would make young and novice drivers much safer and save lives.”

Brake had some advice for young drivers including avoiding the use of a mobile device entirely when driving (including hands-free calls), sticking to the daytime, wearing a seat belt at all times and keeping within the legal speed limit.

Countries with a graduated driving licence include Australia, South Africa and some states in America such as Alabama.

Do you think the process of learning to drive needs an overhaul to make our roads safer?



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