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RoSPA-backed coalition calls for manifesto pledge to save young drivers’ lives

The UK’s family safety charity is leading the call for all major political parties to commit to the safety of young drivers in their election manifestos.

In the build-up to the general election on May 7, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is lobbying every party with Westminster representation to agree to a Green Paper on young drivers in a bid to save the hundreds of 17-24 year olds who are killed or seriously injured on the roads each year.

The charity, which has been at the heart of accident prevention in the UK and around the world for almost a century, is supported in its call by 24 influencers, charities and organisations (please see below for the full list).

A total of 131 young drivers were killed on the roads in 2013, while 1,159 were left with serious injuries.

RoSPA has written to all parties asking them to consider a range of potentially life-saving options such as, graduated driver licensing (a phased driving experience for young drivers), and telematics (or black box technology).

It believes the production of a robust consultation document would be a significant development in the drive to cut the number of crashes involving young drivers.

Tom Mullarkey, RoSPA’s chief executive, said: “Far too many young lives are being lost on our roads each year, so it is imperative that we take a more radical approach in order to reduce the number of casualties.

“As part of our dedication to saving lives and reducing injuries, we are calling on all political parties to include a commitment in their election manifestos to publish a Green Paper on young drivers. We believe a comprehensive package of complementary measures is needed to improve the safety of some of our most vulnerable road users.”

Kevin Clinton, RoSPA’s head of road safety, said: “Young drivers are more likely to be involved in road accidents than experienced drivers – and yet they drive fewer miles.

“Sadly, they account for about 20 per cent of all road deaths. But if we all work more closely together, there is scope to reduce, significantly, the number of casualties caused by new and inexperienced drivers.”

The full list of supporters: Glenda Jackson CBE MP; Dr Sarah Jones; Lord Jordan of Bournville CBE; Professor (Emeritus) Frank P McKenna; Lord McKenzie of Luton; Barry Sheerman MP; The Viscount Simon; David Ward MP; AIRSO; Association of British Insurers (ABI); Brake; GEM Motoring Assist; Hastings Direct; Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM); Institute of Master Tutors of Driving; Keoghs LLP; London Road Safety Council; Motor Insurers’ Bureau; Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS); RAC Foundation; Road Safety GB; Roadsafe; the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA); Sustrans; Transport Research Laboratory (TRL).

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