David Stewart MSP

Sensible Driving – Always Arriving : Graduated Licence Scheme

6 October 2010

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP David Stewart, who is leading a campaign to make our roads safer and is looking to address some of the issues around some of our young drivers, has been backed in his team’s work by an eminent Doctor from Cardiff University.

Doctor Sarah Jones has carried out several years of work in relation to the savings in lives and costs if a graduated licence scheme (GDLS) was introduced in Britain.

David Stewart said, ” I am delighted that someone of Doctor Sarah Jones stature has come forward with all the years work she and her colleagues have carried out in relation to this issue and confirmed what I and my team have been campaigning for, which is a more robust driving test incorporated into a graduated driving licence scheme.

” There is no doubt that this change in legislation would not only save lives, but also save our economy millions”.

As a result of her research, Doctor Sarah Jones established that the collision rate of vehicles being driven by older people is continually dropping, whilst the younger driver rates have remained steady.

This research also revealed that a quarter of all collisions involving a driver aged between 17 and 19 years occurs between the hours of 9pm and 6am and in a quarter of them there are passengers aged between 15 and 24 years within the vehicles.

The research has been carried out in relation to road collisions in Scotland also and shows that if a graduated driving licence scheme was introduced north of the border then, on average, up to 22 lives could be saved each year,1056 road traffic casualties could be avoided and 80 million pounds saved to the Scottish economy.

David Stewart continued ” These facts and figures produced by a team of specialist people such as Doctor Sarah Jones and her colleagues, are quite frankly staggering.

“In view of such overwhelming evidence my team and I are even more determined than ever to take this issue all the way and push for a change in legislation to allow a pilot of the graduated licence scheme to take place in Scotland.

What is a graduated licence scheme?

It allows new drivers to gain driving experience under conditions of reduced risk.

It does this by restricting driving under high risk conditions.

In short it is a more disciplined phased approach to persons being granted a licence to drive.

Initially the learner driver will drive with a supervisor and display ‘L’ plates.

They will have experience of driver observation and motorway driving or dual carriageway driving for example and thereafter they can pass the first part of the test.

They are then deemed intermediate drivers for a fixed term and have restrictions, for example no night driving, no passengers and no consumption of alcohol.

After the fixed term they can then progress to a full licence.

Mr Stewart has submitted a Parliamentary Motion about the campaign:

Sensible Driving, Always Arriving—That the Parliament supports the website initiative being run in Wales called Deadly Mates, which is aimed at encouraging safer driving among young people; believes that, following several fatal road collisions involving young people in the Highlands, urgent action needs to be taken to reduce the deaths of young people on all of Scotland’s roads; supports the calls to introduce measures to ensure that young people drive more safely, including a mandatory display of a P-plate for 90 days after successful completion of a driving test, limiting the size of a car’s engine to be driven by people under 25 and introducing a graduated licence scheme that incorporates night driving, motorway driving and driving observation, and urges the Scottish Executive and the Department for Transport to work together to consider implementing these measures to ensure that no more young people are needlessly killed or seriously injured on Scotland’s roads.

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Written by davidstewart

October 6, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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