Young drivers need law change

Long overdue reform of the UK’s driver testing regime is required said the ABI today.

The reform, in the form of graduated driving licencing, is required to help reduce the shockingly high numbers of young drivers and passengers killed or seriously injured on the UK’s roads each year, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said.

The evidence for change is overwhelming:
• Car crashes are the biggest cause of accidental death among young people aged between 15 and 24.
• One in four 18 to 24 year olds (23%) crash within two years of passing their driving test.
• In 2013, 131 young drivers were killed on the roads and 1159 were left with serious injuries.

Rob Cummings, the ABI’s manager of general insurance policy, said, ‘For too long there has been a lack of action to address the safety record of young drivers. This is not just an insurance problem but a problem for all society. Alongside RoSPA, we urge the new Government to take action and publish a Green Paper laying out a coherent plan on how to tackle it.

‘The common sense changes we’re proposing for younger drivers, such as a minimum one year learning period and restrictions on carrying passengers, could do a great deal to keep our roads safer for all users. The international evidence clearly demonstrates how effective graduated driving licencing is in reducing the deaths on the road for young drivers. Safer drivers also means reduced premiums.

‘Reducing the toll of death and serious injury affecting young people on our roads needs to be comprehensively addressed. It will take more than road safety messages to save lives.’

Key proposals from the ABI’s Campaign for Safe Young Drivers include:
• one-year minimum learning period, starting from 16 and a half
• limiting the number of passengers allowed in a car with a new young driver
• zero tolerance on alcohol