07 May 2008
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents today welcomed the Government's plans to consult on new measures to cut the number of deaths and injuries among young drivers on Britain's roads.
Kevin Clinton, Head of Road Safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: "Everything possible has to be done to make new drivers safer and this eagerly awaited consultation is an important move in the right direction.
"We need young drivers to gain more experience while they are learning and so are happy with the idea of creating a culture of extended and advanced learning. Encouraging them to spend extra hours behind the wheel in a variety of driving situations would have major benefits. It is known that crash rates fall when this happens.
"A syllabus to ensure more effective training by completing a log book is something RoSPA has advocated for a long time and we would like to see this become a compulsory part of the learning process.
"The idea of better equipping people who will need to drive as part of their job is extremely important, as between a third and a quarter of the deaths on Britain's roads are linked to people being at work at the time. RoSPA has already developed an advanced test for occupational drivers and supports the plans for developing additional vocational qualifications for people who want to drive for work.
"As well as experience, we have to address issues such as: attitude - because young drivers often drive in risky ways; hazard perception - because they often over-estimate their ability to avoid hazards and assess risks; and peer pressure - as the risk of crashes increases in line with the number of passengers in the vehicle. These are things which could be tackled in schools and colleges as part of a foundation course in safe road use.
"Star-rating instructors is a positive measure which will help learners to choose the best instructors for their needs.
"Britain has a good road safety record, but with high number of young motorists being killed on our roads it is time for more action."
Kevin Clinton met Ruth Kelly, Transport Secretary, to discuss the proposals when she launched the consultation at Cardington Training and Development Centre today.