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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 November 2007, 04:41 GMT
Young drivers 'on drink or drugs'
Car wreckage
Most of those questioned in the survey felt victimised by the media
Almost a quarter of young male drivers have got behind the wheel having had alcohol or drugs, a survey suggests.

The Norwich Union study found 45% of novice drivers rated themselves as safe motorists despite lack of experience.

However, 44% of the 17 to 23-year-olds did not consider other motorists of the same age to be safe on the roads.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (Rospa) has backed an insurance policy which forbids young people driving between 2300 and 0600.

In return, the motorist would get a lower premium.

Tougher measures

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at Rospa, said: "Overall in this country our road safety record has been improving year on year.

"The statistics show that young drivers haven't been improving on the whole and they are much more likely to crash than more experienced drivers.

"Hopefully, the idea is that they'll gain more experience before they get exposed to the most dangerous times."

The survey also found 63% of the 1,265 young drivers questioned were in favour of tougher penalties for young motorists' offences.

Four-fifths of the young drivers said they felt victimised by the way they were portrayed in the media and 41% were unhappy with the high insurance premiums they were paying.

Norwich Union's Sue Rowland said the survey showed young motorists saw the driving test as a means to an end rather than the start of a learning process.

SEE ALSO
Driving age 'must increase to 18'
19 Jul 07 |  UK Politics

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