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The government is being urged to introduce Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) to improve road safety for new drivers during their first six months on the road. If implemented, new drivers would be prevented from carrying passengers of the same age and driving between midnight and 4am for half a year.

Leading the call is RoadPeace, a road safety charity for crash victims. The charity submitted an open letter to the incoming government demanding the introduction of GDLs within the first 100 days of parliament. In just two weeks, the letter received over 19,000 signatures, including many from families of young drivers who tragically lost their lives in a collision.

The introduction of GDLs was also named a priority in the 2024 Road Safety Manifesto, released in May by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety. This council is supported by close to 100 road safety organisations, including RoadPeace.

According to the AA, one in five young drivers crash within 12 months of passing their test, resulting in over 1,500 fatalities and serious injuries. Edmund King OBE, AA president, also highlighted that new drivers are four times more likely to crash when carrying same-age passengers, highlighting the need for a graduated learning system.

Nick Simmons, CEO of RoadPeace, acknowledged concerns that GDLs could restrict young drivers’ freedom but stated that these restrictions would better protect them from a severe incident.

Speaking about the issue, Simmons said: “Bereaved families, academics and road safety bodies have repeatedly called for the introduction of a Graduated Driving Licensing system in the UK for decades to ensure that young drivers and passengers are far better protected from road harm.

“However, these calls have been ignored, with concerns cited about restricting young people’s freedom. But as bereaved parents know all too well – nothing is more restrictive on a young person’s freedom than a fatal road crash.”

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