Call to prevent young driver deaths

Road safety charity Brake has called for measures to prevent crashes involving young drivers, as figures from the Government show a disproportionately high number of deaths and injuries involving 17-24 year-olds.

According to the data, a quarter of deaths and serious injuries in 2009 involved young people aged between 17 and 24, which is considerably high given the fact just one in eight people in that age group hold a driving licence.

While the number of deaths and injuries in accidents involving young motorists dropped over the last 10 years, the charity said steps need to be taken to prevent the "hearbreak and trauma" such deaths cause to families every year.

The figures further revealed that there were 11 deaths and 111 serious injuries involving young drivers every week in 2009.

The charity urged the Governement to launch a graduated driver licensing programme, which would help beginners hone their driving skills gradually over time.

Julie Townsend, campaigns director of Brake, says: "Through our support services, Brake hears first-hand about the heartbreak and trauma that the loss of young lives causes. While casualties have fallen, it's unacceptable that so many families still have to face this devastation every day, as these deaths and injuries are preventable.

"Graduated driver licensing is shown to be effective in cutting casualties - and could also help us to create a safer driving culture. We hope the Government's new strategic framework for road safety will include decisive action to stem the waste human life caused by young driver crashes."

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