Motoring organisations are supporting a petition for the government to add driving to the school curriculum in a bid to cut the number of road accidents involving young drivers.
Set up by Young Driver, provider of driving lessons for under 17s, the petition calls for practical and classroom-based driving lessons to be added to the national curriculum.
The company says its petition, which doesn’t call for a change in the driving age, already has the support of organisations including the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and the RAC, as well as insurance companies and motoring expert Quentin Willson.
One in five new drivers have a crash within six months of passing their test and road traffic accidents account for a quarter of the deaths of 15-19 year olds in the UK, compared to just 0.5% of the overall adult population. Every year 400 people are killed in accidents involving young drivers.
Willson said: “Both my son, age 16, and daughter, age 11, have started having driving lessons with Young Driver. I think it’s vital – it’s a road safety revolution in the making.
“If we could get this on the curriculum, so the opportunity was open to all, it would have huge ramifications in terms of the safety of our young people. And, as both a father and road user, that’s certainly something I want to back. Getting 100,000 signatures could help save 400 precious lives every year.”
If the petition reaches 10,000 signatures, the government will issue an official response – while 100,000 signatures could see it debated in Parliament.