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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 February 2007, 09:01 GMT
Young drivers road crash warning
Police crash sign

Sixteen people are killed or injured every day on roads in Wales in crashes involving drivers under 25, according to road safety charity Brake.

It wants children to be given lessons in school on safe driving and is launching its own education pack.

According to its research, 83 died on roads in 2005 as a result of crashes involving a driver aged 15 to 25.

The Welsh Assembly Government said road safety is already on the curriculum and many schools run road safety courses.

Brake's education pack entitled Too Young to Die - aimed at schools and colleges - tells the stories of those bereaved or injured in crashes.

Two in five road deaths involving a young driver - something has to be done about this
Brake's Diane Ferreira

It said the pack is designed to raise awareness among 15 to 21-year-olds on how to stay alive on the roads and to encourage them to drive responsibly.

It includes rules on safe driving, such as not speeding or driving after drinking or taking drugs, while tired on or a mobile phone. Practical advice about vehicle maintenance is also offered.

Diane Ferreira, from Brake, said: "Two in five road deaths involving a young driver - something has to be done about this.

"We need to start educating younger drivers better about the risks of the road.

High-powered vehicles

"And introduce some sort of licensing system that's going to protect them as well. And protect everybody."

The charity wanted young learners to have to take lessons for a minimum of a year before they can take their driving test - after their 18th birthday.

She said: "After that we want restrictions for newly-qualified drivers so they can't drive high-powered vehicles, drive at night and drive on motorways and pile their mates in the car.

These restrictions are life-saving because we know that these are the areas, like driving at night, when crashes are happening."

Similar measures had worked in New Zealand and America, she said, and have proven to bring down the statistics on young driver deaths and casualties.

Pre-driver awareness

The Welsh Assembly Government which has responsibility for education as a devolved issue in Wales, said road safety already features in schools.

A spokesperson said: "Personal safety, including elements of road safety, is an important feature of the Personal Social Education framework which is part of the curriculum now, and will be part of our revised curriculum.

"Many primary and secondary schools in Wales already run road safety activities. Some sixth forms also run pre-driver awareness courses.

"In addition, the assembly government is providing 7m a year for a programme which giving young drivers expert advice on the key safety aspects of driving."


SEE ALSO
Funds to help train young drivers
12 Feb 07 |  North East/N Isles

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