Sunday, 14 August 2022

Study puts brakes on newly qualified drivers

A NEW study by Brake, the road safety charity, has revealed 92 per cent of

A NEW study by Brake, the road safety charity, has revealed 92 per cent of people back some kind of restriction for newly qualified drivers.

The latest figures show 2,088 young drivers and passengers aged between 17 and 24 were killed or seriously injured in just one year. Drivers aged between 17 and 19 make up just 1.5 per cent of those holding a UK licence, but are involved in nine per cent of fatal crashes.

Because of these shocking figures, Brake was keen to find out what the public thinks about the idea of extending the time it takes young people to learn to drive, and of putting some restrictions in place when people first pass their test.

The idea of a graduated driving licensing system, which is now in place in a number of countries around the world, is to make sure young people are as skilled and as safe as possible when they go out on the roads unsupervised.

When asked what restrictions should be in place for the first year after someone is given a driving licence, two-thirds, 66 per cent, of people questioned said they support the use of a “P” plate to show a driver on probation. A similar number back a zero-tolerance drink-drive limit for novice drivers. Half of those questioned said they think there should be a restriction on car engine sizes for new drivers, and more than a third of people think that a newly qualified driver should lose their licence if they break any traffic laws during their first year on the road.

Almost eight in 10 people, 79 per cent, said they think there should be a minimum time frame for learning to drive, and almost two thirds, 62 per cent, think that should be at least six months.

Three-quarters of people, 75 per cent, said they think there should be a requirement for a minimum number of taught hours before learner drivers are allowed to take their practical test.

Half of those questioned, 50 per cent, said they think people should have at least 35 hours of driving lessons before taking their on-the-road test.

Research shows that the combination of youth and inexperience puts younger drivers at high risk. Their inexperience means they have less ability to spot hazards, and their youth means they are particularly likely to take risks. In this way, crash risk not only reduces over time with experience but is also higher for those who start driving at a younger age.

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