IAM: Young Driver Conviction Rate Shows Need For Better Tuition
Young Drivers Accumulating Penalty Points
The Institute of Advanced Motorists has claimed that the number of youngsters with penalty points proves that teaching methods fail “to produce safe and law abiding motorists”. As such, thirty thousand eight hundred and fifty men aged twenty or under have up to six points from offences such as speeding/careless driving. This includes three hundred and fifty eight that are only seventeen. Less than ten thousand women, in contrast, aged twenty or under have up to six points. Furthermore, in 2012 youngsters were involved with one-fifth of collisions where someone was killed or seriously injured - even though they accounted for only eight percent of licence holders. Also, on average youngsters only travelled about half the mileage of their more experienced counterparts.
Road Safety Expert Discusses Young Drivers
The Institute of Advanced Motorists Chief Executive, Simon Best, said: “Such high numbers committing a wide range of offences demonstrates the inability of our current system to deal with the attitudes and lack of experience which put new drivers at such high risk on the roads today.” The road safety expert continued: “The government is currently working on a Green Paper for young drivers and this must better address the content and process of learning to drive so that our roads are safer for all road users.”
What Can Be Done To Make Young Drivers Safer?
Youngsters are vulnerable on the road for two reasons: inexperience and – in certain cases - an irresponsible attitude. Let us consider the former. Risk can be minimised by exposing learners to as many situations as practical while accompanied by an instructor. At the moment, for example, learner drivers are not allowed on motorways even while accompanied by an tutor and travelling in marked vehicles that have dual controls. This means that motorists can pass the test then within moments – and without having received any practical motorway tuition – head for the M25 in rush hour in unmarked cars. Furthermore, learners are not necessarily taught to cope with weather related hazards such as over-steer and aquaplaning that cause countless accidents. So, perhaps skid pan tuition should be compulsory. And that brings us to attitude. Some youngsters believe they are invulnerable and have little appreciation that their actions have consequences. Now, older motorists can bang this message home all day but teenagers tend to listen more to their peers than their parents who they consider “nags”. So, perhaps they should attend classes that include contributions from fellow youngsters that learnt the hard way.