New drivers under 25 may be banned from carrying young passengers under a proposed ‘graduated driver’s license’ to curb peer pressure deaths
- Brake says young drivers are four times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash
- Restrictions would prohibit passengers under 25 in the driver’s first year or six months
- Backed by advice to the Department of Transport and the Chief Road Police Officer
Drivers under the age of 25 may not be allowed to carry young passengers under a ‘graduated driver’s license’ to prevent peer pressure deaths.
Road safety organization Brake says drivers of that age are four times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident if they drive with others – claiming peer pressure leads young drivers to show off.
New restrictions would lead to amendments to the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act to ban passengers under the age of 25 in the driver’s first year or six months.
The law already prohibits drivers if they earn six points in their first two years of driving.
It is supported by Support for Victims of Road Crashes – a consultancy for the Department of Transport – and Jo Shiner, head of the National Police Chief’s Council Roads Policing.
New restrictions would be changes to the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act to ban passengers under the age of 25 in the driver’s first year or six months
Shiner has even suggested putting technology in new drivers’ cars to highlight weaknesses in their driving style.
It will be discussed at a meeting on May 16.
Sharron Huddleston, 52, has been fighting for change since her daughter Caitlin, 18, was killed in a car crash when boyfriend Skye Mitchell, also 18, lost control of her father’s Toyota Yaris on a curve and hit a Transit van.
“There’s nothing I can do to bring Caitlin back, but I’m determined, in her memory, to make sure no other family goes through the hurt and pain we go through every day,” she shared. The Sunday times. “It left a huge, gaping hole in our family. Every Christmas, every birthday, it’s just devastating.”
Proposed schemes to place additional restrictions on newly qualified drivers were rejected in January 2022, which would have brought a curfew and restrictions on passengers in the car. These were canceled by the Department of Transport due to the need to use cars for work.
According to the RAC, government statistics show that as many as a quarter of new drivers are involved in accidents during their first two years on the road.
And in 2021, 926 people were killed or seriously injured in crashes involving a young driver.
In documentary evidence submitted to the Transport Select Committee’s inquiry into young and novice drivers in 2020, Ms Huddleston added: ‘I strongly believe that a graduated driving license should be introduced in the UK to reduce the colossal number of deaths and serious injuries in ‘Young and novice drivers’ and their passengers between the ages of 17 and 25.
‘Traffic deaths are the forgotten epidemic. They kill more young people in the UK than anything else.
“Death from traffic accidents is not covered in the same way that illness and disease often do. That is astonishing for people who work in Traffic Safety.’
Sharron Huddleston, 52, has been fighting for change since her daughter Caitlin, 18, was pictured killed in a car accident. Her boyfriend and brother’s friend, beauty queen Skye Mitchell, also 18, lost control of her father’s Toyota Yaris on a curve and hit a Transit van
She continued: “Novice drivers are obviously very vulnerable on the road. They also pose a great danger to their passengers and other road users.
‘The Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management must ensure that tackling this group of victims is given high priority throughout the government. Something urgently needs to change and the government needs to take action.’
In a statement to The Times, the DfT said: ‘Any death or serious injury on our roads is a tragedy and we continue to work tirelessly to improve road safety for all users.
“Our approach to improving safety for new and novice drivers is through new technology and improving education, while amplifying vital road safety messages through our Think! campaign.’