Welsh report calls for Graduated Driving Licence scheme.

Newly qualified young motorists should be banned from driving at night, carrying a certain number of passengers and after drinking any amount of alcohol to reduce the number of fatal road crashes, a new report has recommended.

Public Health Wales’ child death review, which looked at deaths of people aged 13–17  in motor vehicles between 2006-2010, has called on the Welsh Government to lobby the UK Government for changes to the licensing of young drivers.

The report calls for the introduction of a graduated driving licence which could put limitations on or ban newly qualified young drivers from driving at night and drinking alcohol. It could also limit how many passengers can be taken in the car.

Similar schemes already exist in places such as New Zealand and parts of the United States.

Public Health Wales has called for young drivers to be banned from driving at nightThe report looked at factors which could have prevented the 34 teenage deaths that occurred between 2006-2010 in cars, including loss of control that could have been due to inexperience of driving, failure to wear a seat belt and drink driving.

Of the vehicles in which there were fatalities, the driver was over the legal blood alcohol limit in five of the 22 cases and 13 of the 34 teen deaths were in vehicles with five or six casualties.

Driving at night was also identified as a key factor in these deaths, with 19 out 28 crash reports occurring between 9pm and 5am.

The review has also called on the Welsh Government to consider a public awareness campaign to highlight these risks to young people.

The report said: “One intervention that the Welsh Government may lobby for is graduated driver licensing or constituent elements which address limitations on driving during darkness, lower alcohol tolerance levels, limitations on passenger carriage and requirements for the learning process to include driving in specific settings or for a minimum number of hours. Read more of this post

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Crashes Down – Down Under

In 2011, Australia recorded the lowest number of road deaths since 1946, down to about a third of the deaths recorded at the peak in 1970. Over the past 10 years annual fatalities on Australian roads have fallen by almost 26 per cent.

New official figures for December 2011 show 1,292 lives were lost on the nation‘s roads during 2011—a 4.4 per cent reduction on 2010. This fall continues the downward trend over the last five years.

Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport, Catherine King, said the Government is working to reduce the national road toll even further through the implementation of the new National Road Safety Strategy.

“Even more encouraging is the 22 per cent drop in the number of young driver fatalities compared with 2010. The 2011 figures for driver fatalities in the 17 to 25 age bracket are also 34 per cent lower than those recorded in 2007.

“These figures reflect the proactive road safety initiatives pursued by Federal and State governments over recent years; the efforts of police and the greater care being taken by motorists when behind the wheel.

“The Gillard Government will continue to look at initiatives for younger drivers with a focus on saving lives through education with programs such as keys2drive offering free lessons to learners. Read more of this post

Young driver numbers drop.

There’s been a big drop in the number of young people choosing to drive.

Figures reported on BBC Newsbeat show the number of 17 to 22 year-olds taking their driving test has fallen by 19% since 2005, a drop of more than 200,000 people.

Much of the decrease has been put down to an increase in the cost of learning and then running a car.

Some of the prices have risen slightly. Some, like car insurance, have rocketed.

Twenty-year-old Chris started driving lessons a few years ago but had to stop because he couldn’t afford it.

He said: “I don’t have the money to spend on driving lessons so it’s quite difficult because it means I have to rely on public transport such as the buses or getting lifts from my parents.” Read more of this post

In A Flash: Meet the Ansteys (Intro)

This hard-hitting and unique, multimedia resource developed by dbda on behalf of London Safety Camera Partnership (LSCP) aims to address key issues faced by young people in their pre driving and early driving years. It is based around an emotive storyline where the lives of five young people are changed forever, in one night. Take a look at the first of nine parts.

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