Youngsters aged 11 and onwards may soon receive a driving education in secondary school after calls from motoring authorities
News has been circulating the internet this week of a parliamentary petition that has sparked conversation and debate over whether children should be given road safety and driving lessons from as young as 11 years of age.
Started by Young Driver, a driving school that specialises in driving lessons for those below the normal driving age, the petition aims to get Parliment debating on the school curriculum and whether or not driving and road safety should be included as standard.
The petition has already received backing from the IAM, RAC, Driving Instructors Association, Association of British Insurers and many other motoring groups.
Young Driver have already helped some well known faces with their first steps into becoming a motorist with students like X-Factors Nicholas McDonald, Jordan and Harley from Rizzle Kicks and even Quentin Willson’s son Max.
Now, Young Driver’s Director Kim Stanton is trying to help all future UK youngsters take that step by launching the petition.
Commenting on the need for change, Kim said “Learning to drive should be done over a long period of time, and from a young age, when pupils are more receptive to safety messages.”
“Evidence-based research shows that road safety messages are better absorbed by children in their early teens rather than at driving age.” Adding “Driving a vehicle is potentially one of the most dangerous and responsible things a person can do.”
One in five new drivers crash within 6 months
While road safety seems more important than ever, one in five new drivers still crash within 6 months of passing. What’s worse is that out of all British 15 – 19 year olds that die, 25% of them did so in a road traffic accident.
Motoring Journalist Quentin Willson has commented “Both my son, age 16, and daughter, age 11, have started having driving lessons with Young Driver. I think it’s vital – it’s a road safety revolution in the making”
Adding “If we could get this on the curriculum, so the opportunity was open to all, it would have huge ramifications in terms of the safety of our young people. And, as both a father and road user, that’s certainly something I want to back. Getting 100,000 signatures could help save 400 precious lives every year.”
Mark Lewis of the IAM has also encouraged people to push for change saying “The high number of accidents and the sad loss of life as a result of unprepared young drivers urgently needs to be tackled. Quite obviously the driving education that youngsters are currently receiving is inadequate.
“At the IAM we can help prepare people for more advanced driving situations once they have passed their test, but there needs to be more done at an earlier stage. Learning such an important skill shouldn’t potentially be done and dusted in a few short months.
“That’s why I strongly believe people should sign this petition and get the subject debated in the House of Commons.”
Sign this petition?
“We should train young people to understand road safety and hazard perception at a younger age. This lifesaving training should begin at school as a part of every child’s curriculum.
A quarter of all 15-19 year olds who die are killed in cars and a fifth crash within 6 months of passing their test.
Every year 400 people die on UK roads in young driver accidents. 100,000 signatures could help save those precious lives.
Research shows that road safety messages are better absorbed by children in their early teens. Pilot studies in Europe show a 40% reduction in accidents for those who train at school. Independent UK research on pre-17 driving lessons shows pupils have 50% less accidents.
We don’t want to change the driving age – only the age we start teaching children to drive safely.”