The stats about road deaths and young drivers.

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Tiberius Baltar, 19 Jul 2012.

  1. Tiberius Baltar

    Tiberius Baltar Active Member

    Hi all,

    I was listening to the news on the radio yesterday and there was a report about the high number of traffic fatalities whith regards to new and young drivers. It would seem that there is a high percentage of deaths caused on the roads due to a lack of driving experience.

    This got me to thinking about when I started cycling as a nipper. My father would take me out and in order to get to the leafy green parts of the city it was inevitable to tackle a little bit of road cycling. With the guidance and protection of my father behind me reassuring and instructing me I learned a hell of a lot of "road sense" before I even contemplated wanting to drive a car. I was fully aware by the beginning of my teenage years what it meant to anticipate what the prat in the works van would do at the upcoming roundabout and I was adept at allowing the blind busy bus driver to do what I knew he would do at the next bus stop on the busy main road!

    Another thought also occured during my pondering, this was the memory of passing my motorcycle test. I was only allowed to ride a machine up to a certain power output until I had turned 21 years old or had two years experience under my belt. This method of restriction ensured I was always on a bike that I was capable of handling and reduced my chances of trying any stupid manouvres which could endanger myself and others on the road.

    My question was this, why can an 18 year old after passing what is (at the time of writing) a fairly short and innapropriate driving test, then go out and buy a vehicle capable of doing twice the national speed limit? Surely this is a recipe for disaster? Could we not increase the safety of all road users simply by limiting the number of young drivers with "hot hatches"? Plus could we not include within the driving test some sort of follow up test to ensure that drivers are up to date with road laws and are still capable drivers?

    As a driver and a cyclist I think this would have advantages over the current system or am I way off the mark with this?
  2. MrJamie

    MrJamie Oaf on a Bike

    You'd think insurance premiums would be doing the job of limiting young drivers in "hot hatches" and to be fair Id be suprised if many are driving 140mph+ cars at 18 but i could be wrong. :smile: Id imagine its a lot more about simply driving faster than is safe for the conditions and you dont need a great car to do that. Racing around in a lower spec car with poorer handling and fewer safety features might even be more dangerous.
  3. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    There was the New Drivers Act 1996 that meant not only a few other things but also 6pts within 2 years leads to disqualification.

    To quickly summarise there are different ways of doing things around the world and various options not all of which are mutually exclusive:-
    a) the current system
    b) a literal engine size graduation (this may help a bit but is probably seen as fairly unworkable)
    c) let the market and insurance regulate itself with minor tweaks
    d) black boxes either encouraged/made compulsory
    e) restrictions on carrying of passengers e.g. no carrying passengers after midnight unless accompanied by someone over 21 etc similar for provisionals
    f) some other curfew or passenger restriction
    g) raise the driving age and or set a minimum number of driving hours (move towards this)
    h) restrictions on driving in the early hours full stop
    i) lower alcohol limit for the young/or new drivers

    Around the world there is a lot of interest in option e) because it may have a noticeable effect on reducing the number of deaths that we sadly here too often and is not too hard to implement - large number of passengers in a small car at night, young driver and multiple serious injuries or deaths.
  4. tyred

    tyred Legendary Member

    Inexperience and an inadequate driving test.
  5. I've mentioned before forgive the repetition that when I took my first driving test at age 30 in New York part of the deal was that you sit through a five hour class. No tests, no questions, you just had to attend. The class was split failrly equally between new drivers and those doing 'driver re-ed'.

    I'm convinced that it was the best thing I ever did in terms of my attitude to driving/road safety. Now I had already been cycling for many years so I was possibly more responsive to the message than some of the people in the class but it covered things - in videos and diagrams and a really good presenter - which our system as it stands simply can't. And (gawdblimey) this was twenty years ago.
  6. swee'pea99

    swee'pea99 Legendary Member

    Here's a suggestion: once you manage to get rid of your L plates, you get P (for Provisional) plates, which you have to carry (on pain of death) for your first 12 months as a licensed driver. With P plates, you're forbidden to go over 50 MPH. Which among other things means you can't go on motorways. It won't of course stop accidents, but it would mean that a) new drivers get a year to 'bed in' their new skills and develop that road sense that only comes with experience, at a relatively safe pace, and b) everyone else gets to easily spy the newbie, thereby warning them to take just a bit more care around them.
  7. Or.... we arrive at the logical conclusion that there are already enough drivers on the road and only let another one on when an existing driver dies or hangs up their driving gloves forever.

    Join the back of the queue kids!
    growingvegetables likes this.
  8. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    Yes. It is a serious option.

    Another parallel idea along these lines said less often is one would be that drivers can only have a driving licence for a certain number of years of their lives. Absolutely or with some trading system or financial penalty if you go over this. And so on.
  9. dawesome

    dawesome Senior Member

    I know of an instance of this. 18 year old, two SP30s (both on New Year's Day, mmm).

    Her premium was £1200. She lost her license, had to take a re-test and lost the part-year's no claim bonus. Her renewal premium quote was £3800.
  10. tyred

    tyred Legendary Member

    That's the case in Northern Ireland (well nearly R for restricted plates and a 45mph limit) and I do agree with it but the police never seem to bother to enforce it.
  11. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    When I was learning to drive, shortly before I had my test one of my instructor's pupils who had passed her test in the last few months had got rumbled for using a mobile and was suspended. No idea whatever the other offence was or what the specifics later were but I can imagine it would be something like that too.

    Not sure how many instances of this happen every year. I think I remember reading somewhere that since it came in it'd gone past the 10,000 mark at some point in the past.
  12. Night Train

    Night Train Maker of Things

    Greater Manchester
    I'd still be up for regular retesting.
    A one, then three then five year rolling license with lessons and retest at the end of each period to maintain a driving record. Failure of a test and you go back to the one year when you pass.

    Driver attitude training would also be good.
  13. +1 to all of that. Although somebody is bound to say that it will unworkable and too costly and against a drivers human rights.
  14. MissTillyFlop

    MissTillyFlop Evil communist dictator, lover of gerbils & Pope.

    They do, which is why some young drivers don't have any after being priced out.
  15. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    I'm for retesting.

    Also, for road sense training in school - right from the start, but moving beyond the green cross code stuff as kids get older - so that by the time they start learning in a car, they've had advanced driving levels of theory. In fact, make them pass an exam in the subject before they can take a physical driving test - not the relatively easy theory test they have now.

    Also, the theory test should have some questions that if you get them wrong, you fail, no quibble. For example in the current test there is one that says "You are approaching a pedestrian crossing and the light turns green, but there are elderly people still crossing. Should you:" and the options include "rev your engine to make them hurry". Anyone choosing that should fail, whatever else they get.

    (I just took a practice test, and I'm fairly ashamed of 45/50 (pass mark is 43). I got hand signals mixed up, and chose a too cautious approach to one problem)
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