New drivers scheme 'may save lives'

As many as 200 lives a year could be saved if a scheme restricting newly qualified drivers was introduced in the UK, a study suggests.

Graduated Licensing (GDL) would ban motorists who have just passed their tests from driving at night, drinking alcohol and carrying passengers of a similar age.

Restricting 17 to 24 year-old's for two years could prevent 1,700 fewer injuries a year and may also lower the rate of car insurance premiums for that age group.

The Cardiff University study, presented at an international road safety conference in London, was gathered through analysing road accident data in the UK from 2000 to 2007 and estimating the number of lives that could be saved if driving limitations were implemented.

Similar schemes and are bring used in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and parts of the US.

Dr Sarah Jones, who led the research, said: "GDL works in other countries and there's no good reason why it wouldn't work here."

One in five new motorists crashes within six months of passing their driving test and the researchers said many accidents could be prevented, with costs to the NHS also reduced.

Copyright © Press Association 2010