Call For Young Motorists To Have More Learning Time

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The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has called on the government to introduce a graduated driver licensing system, which it suggests would cut the crash risk among young drivers.

The Telegraph reports that IAM’s recommendation comes shortly after a study from the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory, which described the benefits of graduated licences as “indisputable”.

The report also claimed that adoption of the new system, which sees learner drivers gaining driving experience and skills gradually over time in low-risk environments, could “result in annual savings of 4,471 casualties and £224 million” for drivers between 17 and 19 years old.

As highlighted in the newspaper report, although now a little outdated, a 1999 study in Sweden revealed that 120 hours of supervised driving before allowing young people out the road alone resulted in a 30% lower crash risk among novice drivers.

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM, suggests a delay in obtaining a full licence and points to models in other countries which have been implemented with success.

“In Australia, you have to log the hours you do on different roads, so you do a couple of hours at night time, at high speed, in bad weather – and you actually put all that in a logbook” he explains.

“They say about 120 hours are required, which in the course of a year isn’t that much. But there’s a huge amount of evidence that proves this is successful.”

Greig adds that graduated driving licences were due to be introduced in the UK this year, but that decision appears to have been postponed, with adoption of the new system not set to come in before the general election.

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