Road safety: Charity calls for more post-test training

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The Institute of Advanced Motorists’s annual conference of 400 road safety experts has called on the government to introduce a new system of post-test driver training to reduce the rate of serious road accidents involving young people.

In 2010, 30 per cent of car occupant fatalities were young drivers (17-24 years) or passengers of a young driver.

Car occupant fatalities were 835, young driver fatalities 158 and passenger of young drivers fatalities 931. And with driver and rider error behind the top three causes of fatal and serious crashes, the message is clear – young drivers need more experience and training.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “Having looked at systems of post-test training from other countries, we know that the best examples have reduced young male deaths by almost 30 per cent*.”

The IAM wants to see accredited training offered to young drivers in the first 12 to 18 months after passing the basic driving test.

This would include:

l Training from qualified instructors.

l An initial on-road assessment to gain knowledge of their experience and to highlight any deficiencies.

l Off-road practice in handling in the wet, speed into corners and the impact of speed on stopping distances.

Benefits such as discounts on insurance and cheaper vehicle excise duty for young drivers who complete the training.

Best said: “The first year as a car driver is important for building up the driving experience necessary to reduce the risk of crashes.

“Post-test training with in-depth coaching on driving techniques, and extra hours behind the wheel – with an experienced instructor – will prevent accidents.”