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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 October 2007, 15:37 GMT 16:37 UK
Test calls after car deaths case
Craig Ramshaw
Craig Ramshaw has apologised again to the girls' families
New calls are made for restrictions on new drivers after the case of a teenager cleared of causing the death of four others by dangerous driving.

Instead, Craig Ramshaw, 18, was found guilty of careless driving after four teenagers died when his car careered off a mountain road near Ebbw Vale.

Danielle Caswell, Katie Roberts, 15, and Louise Jones and Kayleigh Parry, 16, died on 2 November last year.

Ramshaw was given a conditional discharge and banned for two years.

He will also have to re-sit his test.

The six-day trial heard how three days after passing his driving test, the teenager was driving along a mountain road - B4560 between Garnlydan and Llangynidr - at around 2100 GMT when he lost control and the car flipped over.

Kayleigh Parry, Katie Roberts, Danielle Caswell, and Louise Jones
The four girls were close friends and pupils at Glyncoed Comprehensive

The prosecution accused him of "showing off" but Ramshaw, an apprentice plumber, denied that insisting he was not driving at more than 40mph when he felt his back wheel skid.

Shortly after the Vauxhall Corsa careered off the road and flipped over.

The girls were thrown from the vehicle.

They were not wearing seatbelts, unlike Ramshaw and a front seat passenger, who survived with minor injuries.

The families are said to be deeply upset at the outcome of the case.

Local councillor Graham Hughes - who is in contact with some of them - said Craig Ramshaw had shown remorse and that the sentence was fair.

In Northern Ireland they are restricted to 45mph for the first 12 months and in America there is a curfew on their driving. They also cannot carry passengers under a certain age
Independent road safety consultant Tom Jones

Speaking on BBC Wales' Good Morning Wales, he said he hoped the community would move on and that the authorities would focus on new measures to reduce the toll of young lives lost on the roads.

Appeals re-issued by road safety experts include speed restrictions on new drivers as well as limits on the number of passengers new drivers can carry.

Tom Jones, an independent road safety consultant, also recommended that driver education should start sooner and should become a part of the school curriculum.

"We could also look at making the test a little bit longer and with more elements to it," he said.

"Young drivers could also be made to put more hours in behind the wheel with an instructor and then once they pass the test, we could look at introducing certain restrictions.

Police vehicles close the crash scene
Police investigating near the scene of the crash

"In Northern Ireland they are restricted to 45mph for the first 12 months and in America there is a curfew on their driving. They also cannot carry passengers under a certain age."

Meanwhile, Labour MP Louise Ellman, a member of the House of Commons Transport Select Committee, said they had suggested a number of revisions.

Among them were curfews on when new drivers could go out on the roads, and lengthening the time it takes to learn to a 12-month structured course.

"I don't think that the government have realised sufficiently the seriousness of these problems," she said.

"They are due to reply to our report on novice drivers in the very near future and I hope that they will take our proposals seriously."

Earlier this year, road safety charity Brake found that 16 people were killed and injured every day in Wales in incidents involving drivers under the age of 25.

Grieving mother calls restrictions on young drivers

Death crash teenager 'not guilty'
10 Oct 07 |  South East Wales
Death crash driver 'lost control'
04 Oct 07 |  South East Wales
Crash deaths driver 'showing off'
02 Oct 07 |  South East Wales

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