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Last Updated: Monday, 14 March, 2005, 12:39 GMT
Call to strengthen testing system
Doug Kennedy
BBC News Website

Creating a staggered system for newly passed drivers to gain access to a full licence would save dozens of lives a year, safety group Brake have urged.

Brake wants learners to have stricter testing

Drivers aged 17 to 21 in Scotland represent just over 4% of licence holders yet are involved in 13% of all accidents.

Brake has called for raising the age young people can drive and for a "graduated" series of tests.

This would include tuition in high speed and night time driving.

Brake believes drivers should be put through more "hoops", incorporating compulsory training, restrictions on newly qualified drivers and more than one test.

This would include raising the age at which young people can drive.

Spokeswoman Aimee Bowen said: "Young drivers have a tendency to feel invincible.

"They have this new freedom, but they are statistically more likely to have a crash.

"We would like to see restricted licences for 17 to 25-year-olds, limiting areas like night driving and passenger numbers."

She said one-in-10 drivers are under the age of 25, but one-in four-who die are under this age, often killing their young passengers too.

Speed and distractions

Brake is therefore calling for a review of the age at which young people can drive.

The organisation also back a graduated motorbike test, meaning bikers cannot ride high-performance bikes without further training.

Ms Bowen added: "What we need is greater debate on these issues. Young people need to be aware of the effects of speed, drink, tiredness and other distractions.

"At the moment a test lasting about an hour is seen as enough to last for 50 years or more of driving.

"We would like to see regular retesting of drivers throughout their driving career."

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