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Last Updated: Monday, 12 February 2007, 09:47 GMT
Funds to help train young drivers
The north east saw more than 60 fatalities last year
Young motorists are to be given help with the cost of advanced driver training in an effort to cut the number of road deaths in Scotland.

The Scottish Executive is to provide funding towards the scheme.

The north east has the highest fatal accident rates in Scotland for drivers aged 17 to 25. A total of 62 people died on the region's roads last year.

The executive is funding a six-month pilot in the Moray, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire areas.

It will provide half the cost of advanced driver training.

When this is added to local authority funding already on offer, that means a 150 course could cost as little as 15.

I think the use of this kind of Pass Plus scheme, which has worked in other parts of the country, must be a step forward
Tavish Scott
Transport Minister

The executive said it was obvious that road safety messages, particularly among young people, still needed to be heard.

Transport Minister Tavish Scott said there were a number of factors behind the death toll, including high-powered cars and young drivers' lack of experience.

He said the additional driving test would push young drivers to improve their standard - and could lead to cheaper car insurance.

"We hope that insurance companies, in collaboration with running this kind of course, can indeed provide that kind of incentive," he told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme.

"I think there's a really powerful incentive - not just for government and local government but for drivers themselves - to look at standards, look at what's happening on our roads and concentrate on measures that can improve that.

"I think the use of this kind of Pass Plus scheme, which has worked in other parts of the country, must be a step forward."

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