Government ‘failing to prioritise young driver safety’: GEM
GEM Motoring Assist is calling on the Government to introduce a graduated driver licensing (GDL) system, pointing to a new survey which suggests there is public support for the move.
Published on Friday (17 Mar), GEM says more than 90% of respondents to its survey agreed the UK driving test is ‘no longer fit for purpose’, and that it should be replaced by a GDL system.
According to GEM road safety officer Neil Worth, GDL adds that ‘all-important intermediate element’ between learner and full licence holder, and allows new drivers to build up their skills and experience over a period of time, using clearly-marked stages.
The road safety organisation points to TRL research which shows that 16-year-old drivers in the USA who learnt to drive through GDL systems had 37% fewer crashes than those who followed other systems. It also says that following the introduction of GDL in New Zealand, injuries from road traffic collisions ‘reduced by almost a quarter for 15- to 19-year olds’.
GEM says the move would be supported by many road safety organisations, public health bodies and research institutes, and should include a number of ‘key components’, including a minimum learning period of 12 months before taking a practical test.
GEM adds that drivers should hold ‘novice’ status for two years after passing the test, with a ban on these drivers carrying passengers aged under 25 years. It also recommends a night-time driving curfew, unless driving to or from work, and an automatic disqualification for any driving offence.
In May 2016, the Government announced that it is set to make changes to the practical driving test in a bid to ensure it reflects the modern driving experience.
Neil Worth said: “GEM members are holding the Government to account for failing to prioritise young driver safety, and for wasting lives and money. We believe that GDL, if it goes hand in hand with improvements to public transport across the country, could form a key part of a safer and more sustainable transport future for everyone.”
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