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RAC Calls for a New Three-Stage Driving Scheme to be Introduced for Young Drivers

Leading roadside recovery service, RAC, believes that a new three-tier driving scheme should be introduced to cut the number of accidents among young drivers. The RAC believes that a scheme including, a one year minimum learning period and a host of post-test restrictions on driving times and passenger numbers, will help to significantly reduce the number of road accidents involving young drivers. In a statement from an RAC spokesperson: “At present there exists a culture that allows young drivers to undergo intensive driving courses in a bid to pass the driving theory test and then the practical test. In some cases this can be achieved in weeks. The problem is that a few driving lessons and a pass certificate does not mean that young drivers are ‘experienced’ on the road.” According to official figures, approximately one in five young drivers will be involved in a road traffic accident within six months of passing their driving test. Research from 2011 revealed that 1500 young drivers, aged 17-24, were killed or severely injured on Britain’s roads. Elizabeth Box of the RAC revealed to BBC Radio 5 live’s Breakfast show that ‘four young drivers are involved in fatal or serious road accidents every day; therefore this is a real problem that requires urgent attention.’ A spokesperson said: “It’s understandable that the RAC would call for more extensive ‘training’ for new, young drivers. However, perhaps the three-tiered scheme should be introduced to all new drivers, regardless of age, as this would improve road safety on a much wider-scale. Educating new drivers is the important factor here.” In a statement from the Director of the RAC Foundation, Professor Stephen Glaister, he said: “Our measures could reduce deaths by as much as 60%. Young people are four times more likely to die in a road accident than as a result of drink or drugs. Yet, as a society, we seem to turn a blind eye to the carnage. If this was any other area of public health there would be an outcry.” He added: “Our research shows that putting certain restrictions on young drivers allows them to rapidly build up life-saving experience in the safest possible way.” The RAC referred to other nations, including Australia, Canada and the USA, which have already implemented such schemes and have since seen a dramatic decrease in the number of deaths among young drivers. In a statement from the Association of British Insurers they said: “Imposing restrictions on newly-qualified drivers could result in a drop in insurance premiums for young drivers.”

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