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24th Apr 2023

Young drivers could be banned from giving their mates a lift under new rules

Jack Peat

How will we know who the cool kids are?

Drivers under the age of 25 could be barred from giving their friends a lift under new plans being considered to combat peer pressure deaths.

A new “graduated driving licence” is being looked at by ministers and has the approval of Support for Victims of Road Crashes, an advisory committee to the Department for Transport.

It will be considered by Richard Holden, the roads minister, at a meeting on May 16th.

New restrictions would see amendments made to the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act to ban passengers under the age of 25 in drivers’ first year or six months.

The Act already bans drivers if they get six points in their first two years of driving.

According to the RAC, government statistics show as many as a quarter of new drivers are involved in accidents in their first two years on the road.

In 2021, 926 people were killed or seriously injured in accidents involving a young driver.

Sharron Huddleston, who has fought for change since her daughter was killed in a car crash alongside her friend, described road deaths as a “forgotten epidemic” in a heartfelt plea to get the legislation passed.

“They kill more young people in the UK than anything else. 

“‘Death from Road Crashes don’t receive the coverage in the same way as illness and disease often do. For people working in Road Safety this is baffling”, she said.

In a statement to The Times, the Department for Transport said: “Every 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 reinforcing vital road safety messages through our Think! campaign.”

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