Young drivers ‘should be able to save lives’

Accident scene.
Accident scene.
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Young motorists in South Holland could be better prepared to drive alone and able to help at the scene of accidents under proposals by a Lincolnshire road safety group.

It is responding to a call by an influential group of MPs urging the Government to raise the minimum age at which drivers can take their test, and therefore drive alone, to 18.

A report, produced by the House of Commons Transport Committee, also suggests learner drivers should have to spread lessons over a year.

This week the Co-operative insurance group issued a report claiming a third of young drivers feel unprepared to drive alone when they pass their test.

Twenty-four per cent said an accident they had could have been prevented if they had spent more time learning to drive, with 62 per cent in favour of a minimum learning period being introduced.

John Siddle, of the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership, said he did not think the report by the House of Commons Transport Committee went far enough.

Fatalities on the county’s roads among 17 to 24-year-olds have reduced significantly since the Partnership introduced the 2Fast2Soon programme in schools in 2008. But Mr Siddle said the increase of serious accidents from 13 to 31 was of concern.

He said: “Calling for learner drivers to have lessons spread over a year is not enough on its own.

“The year should be structured and cover such things as driving on motorways and in bad weather and be signed off in the same way a lorry driver renews his licence.

“Part of a lorry driver’s training is first aid and we would like this included in the training too.

“Wouldn’t it be splendid if a young person could attend the scene of an accident and be confident enough to administer CPR?

“This is what we are telling the Government we want to see.”