Fresh calls for government to publish Green Paper on graduated driving scheme

With the dust now settling in the aftermath of the General Election, road safety campaigners are refreshing their calls for the new government to address issues around young driver safety.

A Green Paper, which the previous coalition government was asked to publish in 2013/14, suggested the introduction of a graduated driving licence as a way to reduce road casualties among young drivers.

Some suggestions within the proposals, such as extended driver supervision, a night-time curfew and a limit to the number of passengers new drivers were able to carry, are likely to be controversial. With politicians hoping to appeal to young voters, it was perhaps not surprising that the Green Paper was repeatedly shelved.  

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, was outspoken in a recent press release. He said, “We would urge the new government to do what the last one did not and debate the subject formally and publicly.

“If this was any other area of social and health policy there would be debates in parliament and marches on Downing Street,” he continued, “but for some reason society seems to tolerate the carnage on our roads, particularly that involving young people.”

Teenage passengers also need protection

It isn’t just young drivers themselves who make up the dreadful statistics of those killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads each year. The latest casualty figures, from 2013, show that 234 teenage passengers were killed or seriously injured that year when the 17 to 19 year-old driver they were travelling with was involved in a crash.

Of all teenage passengers killed or badly injured in 2013, 45% were in a car driven by a 17 – 19 year-old, yet this age group makes up just 1.5% of all fully licensed drivers in the UK. A further 23% of teenage passengers killed or seriously injured were driven by 20 – 24 year-olds (5.8% of all licensed drivers).

Professional Glaister commented, “Given the disproportionate number of young drivers involved in accidents the conclusion must be that many teenagers are being killed by the inexperience of their friends at the wheel.”

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Released On 14th May 2015

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