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A coalition for action on young driver safety

For the first time leading organisations across the UK have come together to call for action on young driver safety. In a letter to the Telegraph, organisations that represent a wide range of voices, have called on the Government to take decisive action to stop the tragic loss of young lives on our roads. At a Motor Insurance Summit held in March the Department for Transport (DfT) announced its intention to publish a Green Paper on young driver safety this spring, which it is hoped will be a springboard for action and meaningful progress.

The joint letter shows the depth and breadth of support for changes to the way young people learn how to drive, from the Association of Chief Police Officers, to National Young Farmers and road safety groups - everyone agrees now is time for action. The letter for action on young driver safety is signed by:

  • Otto Thoresen, Director General, Association of British Insurers
  • Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, Roads Policing Lead, Association of Chief Police Officers
  • Julie Townsend, Deputy Chief Executive, Brake, The Road Safety Charity
  • Dr Sarah J Jones, Consultant, Environmental Health Protection Department, Cardiff University
  • James Evans, Founder, FirstCar Magazine
  • Milly Wastie, Chairman, National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs
  • David Davies, Executive Director, Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety 
  • Richard Owen, Director, Road Safety Analysis

The joint letter said:

"In 2011, 2,485 people aged 16-25 were killed or suffered serious injuries on our roads while driving a car or as a passenger of another young car driver. Despite each casualty being a needless waste of life and heart-breaking for families, successive governments have failed to take decisive action to stop this tragic loss of young lives.

"Deaths and injuries involving young drivers can be prevented by reforming how they learn to drive and establish themselves as safe drivers. International evidence demonstrates that pre and post-test restrictions, along with a minimum learning period dramatically reduces casualties, particularly among young people themselves.

"We welcome this Government's interest in improving young driver safety and are calling for it to seize the opportunity of its forthcoming Green Paper to spur meaningful progress. We need a genuine and open public debate about the combination of changes to the testing and training system that has the best chance of making our roads safer for young people and everyone else" 

  • The single biggest cause of accidental death of young people aged 15-24 is dying in a car.
  • In 2011, 5419 people were killed or seriously injured as a result of accidents involving at least one young car driver
  • As many as 15 families everyday are devastated by car crashes involving young drivers.
  • 40% of 17 year old males have an accident in their first six months of driving.

Last updated 01/07/2016