Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Speeding is OK, say young drivers

Two out of five young drivers think it is all right to break the 30mph limit by 10mph or more, a survey suggests

Two out of five young drivers think it is all right to break the 30mph limit by 10mph or more, according to a survey.

And 24% of these drivers, aged 16 to 21, see nothing wrong in drinking up to one and a half pints of beer, or equivalent alcohol, before taking to the wheel.

The survey results were issued as a campaign to overhaul the learning-to-drive system was launched by road safety charity Brake, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the Co-operative Insurance Company.

The launch of the campaign marked the start of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety.

The poll of 500 people aged 16 to 21 showed that 9% of males in this age range thought it was all right to drink more than the equivalent of one and a half pints of beer before driving. Also, 58% of the young people polled reckoned young drivers behaved more dangerously while carrying young passengers.

The three organisations launching the campaign would like to see a restriction put on the time of day that young drivers can take to the road to prevent late-night speeding crashes. They also want young drivers to be given a lower legal alcohol limit and be restricted from carrying young passengers.

Brake's campaigns director Julie Townsend said: "We're calling for a commitment from Government for action to tackle young driver crashes, and the needless casualties that result. Young drivers and their behaviour hold the key to the future extent of carnage on roads."

Nick Starling, the ABI's director of general insurance and health, said: "The current learning-to-drive regime is failing young people, as there is much more to driving than simply passing the driving test. Too many youngsters get behind the wheel ill-equipped for unsupervised driving."

David Neave, director of general insurance at Co-operative Insurance, said: "There is a clear need to balance the freedom that driving gives to young adults with the responsibility to consider their own safety and that of other road-users. Today's research findings and the dreadful crash statistics suggest that this balance is not currently being struck."

Road safety minister Mike Penning said: "We fully support the UN Decade of Action and will be publishing a new strategic framework for road safety, setting out our vision for further reducing deaths and injuries on Britain's roads."

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