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Graduated driver licensing could save lives, new study says

Tuesday 21st September 2010

A graduated driver licensing scheme could reduce casualties among young newly-qualified drivers and their passengers, according to Cardiff University researchers (BBC News).

The scheme, which could include measures such as newly qualified drivers being banned from night time driving and carrying passengers of a similar age, could save more than 200 lives and result in 1,700 fewer serious injuries each year. The Cardiff University study was compiled after analysing road accident data from 2000 to 2007.

Cutting the UK's accident rate would also save the economy £890m, the Cardiff team estimates.

Similar schemes already exist in New Zealand, Australia and parts of the US. But motoring organisations in the UK say the scheme, which could last up to two years, would be difficult to enforce.

Dr Sarah Jones, who led the research, said: "Graduated driver licensing works in other countries and there's no good reason why it wouldn't work here."

But, Andrew Howard, head of the AA, suggested while there would be benefits to graduated driver licensing, they could be outweighed by the disadvantages.

He said: "It would give totally the wrong signals to introduce new laws aimed at young people and then not enforce them - many would feel that all motoring laws could be broken."

Click here to read the full BBC News report.

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Depressing that blinkered AA does not get behind this. What's the matter with them? You would enforce this through very stiff penalties for non compliance, which would result in voluntary compliance in the vast majority of cases and thus save lives. Even if we saved just a few young lives a year, wouldn't that be enough to justify this? We have to do something to change the behaviour of young drivers, especially those who take too many passengers.
Bill, London

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How would this be enforced, with the police being cut back more and more, there will no longer be the numbers of police on the road to ensure this law is followed.
Liam, Essex

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