MSP backs call for more restrictions on young drivers

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Highlands and Islands MSP and road safety campaigner, David Stewart, has welcomed a report, produced by the House of Commons Transport Committee, which suggests that:

• Learner drivers should have to spread lessons over a year

• Novice drivers should be banned from carrying passengers aged between 10 and 20 late at night, and

• There should be a zero alcohol limit for a year after drivers pass their test

The Government has not ruled out adopting the proposals which might help cut road deaths. However it has already announced a total review of the way people learn to drive and of the driving test. This review is progressing at the moment.

David Stewart said “I have been campaigning on this issue for over three and a half years now with my team and partners, including Diane and Graeme Matheson, who lost their son back in 2010, in a fatal collision here in the heart of Inverness.

“We have been calling for more restrictions on young and new drivers, better training and exposure to more different types of driving conditions and a period of observational driving. A key member of our support team was Dr Sarah Jones, from Cardiff University, who has studied this issue for more than 10 years. In relation to Scotland alone, if a graduated Licence was introduced, up to £80 million could be saved to the Scottish economy and up to 22 lives could be saved per year.”

He continued: “Our web site www. sensibledriving.org.uk covers all the work that we have done to date on this issue. Of course I am not demonising young drivers and there would need to be exemptions to any regulations to allow young people travel to and from work late at night for example. What we need is the will to do something and then sort out the detail.”