New drivers should face driving at night ban: study

Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:08am EDT
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By Mike Holden

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Newly qualified drivers should face restrictions such as being banned from driving at night to help cut down on a growing number of crashes involving young motorists, British researchers said on Tuesday.

A graduated driver licensing (GDL) scheme could save up to 200 lives a year and avoid 14,000 casualties saving Britain 890 million pounds in the process as well, researchers from Cardiff University in Wales said.

"Most people in this country know someone who has been touched by the death or injury of a young driver," said Sarah Jones who carried out the study.

"GDL works in other countries and there's no good reason why it wouldn't work here."

While road traffic accidents in Britain are declining, crashes involving young drivers are increasing. Every day four people are killed or seriously injured in accidents involving young motorists, the study said.

The GDL scheme is designed to allow newly qualified drivers to gain experience while imposing certain conditions over an interim phase which could last as long as two years.

During this time, drivers might be banned from driving at night or with similar aged passengers, while drinking any alcohol would be forbidden.

Similar schemes exist in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The study said GDL had led to a 28 percent reduction in fatal or severe injury crash rates in California and a 40 percent decrease in teenage passenger deaths and injuries.   Continued...

<p>A digital road sign on the M40 motorway warns motorists not to attempt to drive into Birmingham city centre, central England, July 10, 2005. REUTERS/Darren Staples</p>