Plans to Cut Road Deaths Among Young Drivers

Compulsory post-driving test training for young drivers could reduce road deaths in that sector by a third, according to the Institute of Advanced Motoring (IAM).

Writing in the latest edition of the IAM’s magazine, Advanced Driving, IAM chairman Alistair Cheyne says that compulsory post-test training would save lives among “this most vulnerable group of drivers”. The call follows findings that a similar approach in Austria has produced a 30 per cent reduction in young driver fatalities.

IAM CEO Simon Best said: “We need no reminding that 17–25 year olds — particularly young men — proportionally have more crashes and suffer more death and injury on our roads than any other group.

“Despite this, very little is being done to ensure that young people improve their driving after passing the test. The high numbers of young drivers who continue to be killed or seriously injured graphically illustrates the need for legislation that insists on post-test training that embraces all kinds of roads; especially rural roads on which young people are suffering so disproportionately.”

The IAM is writing to Under Secretary of State for Transport, Mike Penning MP, raising the urgent need for post-test training. This ‘module’ would not be an unpopular option, and there would be no question of taking a new driver off the road if they ’failed’. However, undertaking a second phase of short coaching sessions and driving practice off the public highway would be compulsory within a year of the test pass. In Austria, legal requirements for all novice drivers to undertake further assessment and training have been used with outstanding results.

Only the Department of Transport can realistically take the lead on this issue with a thorough review of driver training. In the meantime, the IAM is taking action of its own with the launch of Momentum in the New Year. Momentum offers young drivers a low-cost assessment by an IAM examiner early in their development, which will help improve confidence, raise awareness, and reduce risk on the road.


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