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Young Drivers

The young ones' summer holiday brings fear to UK motorists

A new survey from Autoglass® warns of the dangers young drivers bring to UK roads this summer and the tough penalties motorists want imposed.

Two young men in a car

Teens behind the wheel are bringing fear and menace to Britain's roads, suggests new research.  According to a poll by Autoglass®, 73% of motorists said that they are frightened of sharing the road with young drivers, with one in three rating them a serious threat to road safety.  Motorists are now calling for a raft of tough new measures for young drivers who break the law including after dark driving bans, driving test re-takes and restrictions on car engine sizes.

With schools and colleges out for summer, the risks are high. 18 year-olds are more than three times as likely to be involved in a crash as a 48 year old(1)  and over 3,000 drivers under 25 are killed or seriously injured on UK roads every year(2) . In the summer alone over 63,000 people are killed or injured in road accidents, with more than 9,000 of these being young drivers.(3).

The Government's Learning to Drive consultation is underway however 82% of motorists polled in the survey want the Government to get tough.  Two thirds (68%) say teens should only be allowed to drive cars with small, less powerful engines, 61% said that motorists should display a compulsory P plate for 12 months after passing their test, and a further 24% called for a ban on night time driving in a bid to cut the death toll.

70% of UK motorists also want tougher penalties on young drivers caught speeding.  52% of those surveyed said young drivers breaking the law should be forced to re-sit their driving test, 41% called for a mandatory re-training programme (such as driver awareness schemes run by the police) a further 31% called for an instant ban.

Nigel Doggett, managing director of Autoglass® says:

"Our survey provides an interesting snapshot into how motorists perceive teenage drivers. From our poll it is clear that many drivers are afraid of young motorists and want to see restrictions put in place to help them gain valuable driving experience but with lower risk to themselves and others."

"The fact remains that far too many young people are involved in accidents on our roads."

The Government's consultation is expected to result in an overhaul of driving lessons and testing.

According to RoadSafe's Adrian Walsh, training and educating young motorists is key:  "All our expert research tells us that starting the education process earlier is the key to solving the problem.  At the moment, newly-qualified drivers and their passengers account for one in five of all car deaths in the UK and we are obviously keen to see this figure reduced as quickly as possible; the way to do this is by better education, not by limiting their freedom"

(1) Brake
(3) DfT

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