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Brake calls for 'tougher regulation of young drivers'

Monday 1st March 2010

Brake, the road safety charity, says there is an ‘urgent need for tougher regulation of young drivers’ in order to reduce crashes and casualties.

Brake’s call follows the case of Gary Pitchford, who was killed when his girlfriend, learner driver Anna Marie Hibben, lost control of the car when ‘speeding down a country road at night’.

Mary Williams OBE, Brake’s chief executive, said: “Young people’s cognitive abilities finish developing in their mid-20’s, while their thrill seeking tendencies are developed by the time they are about 15.

“Brake has been calling for the driving test age to be raised to 18 or even higher. The higher you go, the fewer deaths you will have, as long as enforcement is toughened up to prevent unlicensed, uninsured drivers too.”

Brake says that the government’s consultation, ‘Learning to drive’, has identified support for ‘increased regulation of the way that people learn to drive, or the placing of post-test restrictions on newly-qualified drivers’.

Ms Williams added: “We cannot delay anymore in introducing these measures which are proven to work, are popularly supported and would prevent more tragedies such as the death of Gary Pitchford.”

Click here to read the full Brake news release.
 

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Below is a quote from Research taken on young drivers?

Youngsters are more dangerous on the roads because their brains are not sufficiently developed, according to researchers. The frontal lobe of the brain - which controls emotion, risk-taking and decision-making - does not fully mature until the age of 25. As a result, teenagers are more impulsive, excitable and prone to taking risks and causing accidents.It also means younger drivers lack the necessary ability to scan the road ahead, anticipate hazards and judge the level of danger they are facing.
"Robert Isler, director of the traffic and road safety research group at the University of Waikato in New Zealand"

Instead of BRAKE constantly jumping on the band wagon, Fit tests for Older Drivers, Young Drivers and raise the driving test age.

If this research is correct and other medical evidence seems to support that it is, then just how high do you go when setting the age you can take your driving test?

Yes new drivers crash, so do old ones, and quite a lot in between. Unfortunately it still falls back to the education that can be given for most and the fact that you can’t factor out the ones who think they know better.

Anna-Marie was a provisional license holder and was not insured to drive her boyfriend's car, nor was he in a position to sit beside her as the supervising passenger. How many drivers who are not in the “Young Driver” category do we hear about driving when they should not be? I don’t think this incident, as sad as it is, is reason to add to the debate for upping the driving age.
Santa's Little Helper Rochdale

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