Getting young drivers back on the roads – in safety
NEW DEAL NEEDED FOR YOUNG DRIVERS, SAYS PACTS
The Government should thoroughly examine ways to improve the safety of young drivers and their passengers, says PACTS, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety. It welcomes the forthcoming Government green paper on young driver safety.
Despite public and parliamentary concern, successive governments have not got to grips with the issue, according to a policy paper from PACTS, issued ahead of a debate in Parliament on road safety on Thursday 25 April.
“The Government has recognised the cost to lives and the economy. The forthcoming Green Paper on young drivers is an historic opportunity to engage with young people, their parents and the wider public to thoroughly explore all the options. We welcome this,” says David Davies, Executive Director of PACTS.
“Successive governments have not managed to resolve the risks for young drivers and their passengers in the period immediately after passing the test. As well as the disproportionate safety risks, many young people are now excluded from driving because of high insurance premiums which reflect the level of catastrophic crashes. These issues have been consigned to the ‘too difficult’ pile for too long.”
“Nobody would expect a newly-qualified doctor, straight from medical school, to make life and death decisions in an instant without further support, experience or training. Yet this is what is expected of young drivers,” said Davies.
“Improved driver education and the use of telematics are likely to be part of the strategy. A graduated approach to learning and licensing may also be justified. Other countries restrict exposure to risk in the immediate post-test period, especially driving at night, with passengers of the same age, and consumption of alcohol.
“This is an historic opportunity to put young drivers back on the roads … in safety,” says Davies.