AA says new young drivers should be banned from having passengers

UK roadside assistance provider, the AA, is campaigning for graduated driver licenses (GDL) to be implemented, so newly qualified drivers are better protected on the road.

The current UK licensing system allows a young person to drive unaccompanied and with no restrictions as soon as they have passed their driving test. A GDL is designed to delay full license issue.

The AA said in its new ‘Motoring Manifesto’ that a graduated driver license will restrict newly qualified drivers with measures like having no peer passengers for six months once they have passed their test.

This is backed by ‘Forget-me-not Families Uniting’, a group of parents whose children were killed by cars driven by young drivers.

In Great Britain, young drivers between the ages of 17-24 are involved in 24% of all collisions resulting in death or serious injury, although this group account for just 7% of the total driving population.

Graduate driving licenses aim to improve road safety. They are already used in countries such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand. There has been a reported reduction in deaths and serious injuries in crashes involving young drivers by between 20% and 40% since the introduction of the licenses in these countries.

The AA’s Motoring Manifesto shows that 72% of AA members think a graduate driver license is a good idea. It is highlighted in one of the manifesto’s five critical areas of action to create confidence for drivers – the ‘safer roads’ section.

Speaking on the manifesto, CEO of AA, Jacob Pfaudler, said: “Driving forms a vital part of the majority of people’s daily lives whether for work, deliveries, leisure, holidays or visiting family and friends. 

“Driving matters to them and their views should matter to us as we head to the polls later this year.”

Lucy Straker, campaigns manager at road safety charity, Brake, responded to AA’s calls for graduated driving licensing, saying: “We welcome the AA’s support for GDL and their call on government to safeguard our young and newly qualified drivers, who we know are over-represented in road crash casualty statistics.

“Brake has long been calling for this type of licensing to be introduced. We need a system in place that is designed to safeguard young people as they start to drive independently after passing their driving test.

“AA’s research underlines that there is clear public support and appetite for GDL, and for ensuring we prioritise the safety of young drivers on our roads.”

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