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Crockart backs plan to cut road deaths by a quarter

May 10, 2011 5:12 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

As the United Nations' Decade of Action on Road Safety is officially launched today (Wednesday 11 May), Edinburgh West's MP, Mike Crockart, is calling for the introduction of new measures, which if implemented, could save an estimated 200 young lives every year.

Mike's call comes as new research shows that young people aged 15-24 are more likely to die in a preventable road crash than they are to die from any other single cause, and that while 17-24 year olds only account for 12% of licence holders, they are involved in one in four road deaths and serious injuries.

Commenting from Westminster today, Mike said:

"If the greatest cause of death in our 15-24 year olds was a preventable illness, we would be appalled and do everything in our power to deal with it. But because these deaths are caused by preventable road accidents, we regard it as something to be left to insurance companies to deal with through higher premiums. It's simply not good enough.

"We can save over 200 lives each and every year, and save the heartache and anguish of 200 families through the introduction of simple measures, such as a minimum learning period and a graduated driving licence, ensuring that no more lives will be wasted through such a preventable cause."

Notes:

· The figures on the number of accidents come from the Department for Transport's 2011 report: "Reported road accidents involving young car drivers: Great Britain 2009"

· Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) allows new drivers to build up their driving skills and experience gradually. It already exists in many countries, and although the exact requirements can vary slightly, the main aim remains the same - to build up the ability and experience of young drivers in gradual stages on a well-structured basis.

· Research data supplied by the road safety charity 'Brake' (http://www.brake.org.uk/graduated-licensing) shows that:

• Young drivers are more likely to seek thrill from driving fast and cornering at high speed than older drivers.

• Young males in particular are at greatest risk: 17-20 year-old male drivers are almost ten times more likely to be killed or seriously injured while driving than 40-59 year-old males.

· For more information on the issues and dangers relating to young drivers, follow this link to read Brake's Young Driver fact sheet: http://www.brake.org.uk/young-drivers-the-hard-facts

· For more information of the UN's Decade of Action on Road Safety, please visit: www.decadeofaction.org/