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Twenty-four families a day could be spared the trauma of dealing with death and injury if ABI young driver proposals are implemented, shows government research

There could be almost 9000 fewer deaths and serious injuries on UK roads every year if changes were made to the way young people learn to drive, new Government research shows today. 

The Department for Transport (DfT) has published a report it commissioned from the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) that shows the urgent need to tackle young driver safety.

The report 'Novice drivers: Evidence Review and Evaluation’ suggests that implementing a strong Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system could result in thousands fewer casualties and save up to £447 million per year. That is 24 deaths and injuries and around £120,000 every day.

Otto Thoresen, Director General of the ABI, said:

"Too many young people are dying or suffering catastrophic injury because of our unreformed young driver rules in the UK. This new Government-commissioned research is compelling and shows reform can prevent 24 families a day going through tremendous trauma and heartache. 

"The Government should act now and publish its Green paper into young driver safety and we urge all political parties to support comprehensive reform to make our roads safer."

The ABI has campaigned to change the way young people learn how to drive and has proposed a package of reforms (GDL) which if implemented in full, could reduce young driver premiums by 15-20%. 

The campaign for change has wide support from the Association of Chief Police Officers,  Brake – The Road Safety Charity, National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs, and The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety.

International evidence shows that changes to the way young people learn and post-test restrictions are the most effective combination to improve safety. The ABI is calling for the following measures:

  • One year minimum learning period
  • Limiting the number of passengers allowed in a car with a new young driver
  • A ban on intensive driving courses
  • Curfew on night time driving
  • Zero tolerance on alcohol, for drivers aged between 17-24

The extensive research in ‘Novice drivers: Evidence Review and Evaluation’, overwhelmingly supports the ABI’s young driver proposals. In summary the paper says:

  1. The international evidence shows that GDL is effective at reducing collisions involving young drivers. 
  2. The effectiveness of GDL is linked to the number of components implemented and the strictness of these components. 
  3. GDL is most effective when the following is implemented: a minimum learning period, minimum required amounts of on-road supervised practice, and a minimum age at which young drivers can take the driving test. Also post-test restrictions on solo night-time driving for all novice drivers, and restrictions on the carrying of passengers.
  4. A lower alcohol limit and a ban on using a hands-free mobile phone while driving for novice drivers are likely to reduce collisions.

For more information see our section on Young drivers.

Last updated 01/07/2016