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Northern Ireland seizes the opportunity to stop unnecessary death and injury on the roads

Following this week’s introduction of a package of measures by the Northern Ireland Assembly to change the way young people learn to drive, James Dalton, Head of Motor and Liability at the Association of British Insurers, said:

"The Northern Ireland Executive’s introduction of a package of measures to change the way young people learn to drive is a meaningful and progressive reform that sets an example for the rest of the UK. For too long politicians have failed to grasp the nettle of changing the young driver testing and training system. This not only fails young people but all road users.  While the reform in Northern Ireland falls short of the full measures the ABI is calling for, the Executive is to be applauded that, while Westminster sits on its hands, they have introduced a package of measures based on the international evidence that Graduated Driver Licensing works.

"Insurers want to see premiums for young drivers come down, but the only way this can happen is to help make them safer drivers.  We want to ensure that the young drivers of today become the safer, older drivers of tomorrow.”

The ABI is calling for the Westminster Government to introduce a package of reforms that would include; introducing a 12 month minimum learning period, developing a more structured syllabus and introducing a restricted phase where there is a limit of the number of passengers a new driver can carry, the time of the day they drive and a lowering of the blood alcohol limit.

These are all critical components of a graduated driver licensing (GDL) scheme which are designed to provide new drivers with driving experience and skills over a longer period of time.

The facts:

  • The single biggest cause of accidental death of young people aged 15-24 is dying in a car.
  • In 2012, 5021 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.

Read a blog by James Dalton: Young drivers: a significant step forward in Northern Ireland

Last updated 01/07/2016