ABI Urges More Young Driver Training, Passenger Limits

The Association of British Insurers has issued a call for a one-year minimum learning period for would-be drivers, and limits on the number of passengers for young newly-qualified drivers.

According to the ABI, younger drivers” make up an eighth of all license holders, but are involved in a third of all road accidents. Road accidents are now the biggest killer of 15 -24 year olds in the UK.”

Nick Starling, the ABI’s Director of General Insurance, appearing before the Transport Select Committee, stated: “Lack of driving experience and peer pressure is killing or seriously injuring four young people every day. We need radical action to stop this tragic waste of young lives. We support Government plans to overhaul driver training and testing. Our proposals will better equip young drivers to handle the dangers of driving, so they become safer motorists.”

The ABI proposed the following measures:
— A minimum one-year learning period for all learner drivers. During that period learners would gain experience under a variety of driving conditions, such as at night and in bad weather. Its introduction in Sweden has led to a 40 percent fall in young driver road casualties.

— Newly qualified young drivers aged under 20 should be limited to carrying no more than one passenger under age 20 during their first six months of driving. The crash risk for young drivers increases threefold when carrying three or more passengers. Similar limits in California have led to a 20 percent fall in young driver accidents.