Moves to limit the driving activity of young people in a bid to reduce car accidents are supported by around two-thirds of adults, according to a new survey.
Research by the RAC Foundation reveals that as many of 66% – of 2,101 people surveyed – think drivers aged under 24 should only be able to carry a set number of passengers in their cars.
A total of 61% think they should be stopped from driving in the early hours of the morning.
The poll showed about two-fifths (41%) of young drivers themselves would welcome some form of graduated licensing scheme, with 32% thinking it unnecessary.
Restrictions on their licence could last for around 12 months after they pass their test.
The research also shows that 83% of respondents consider young people to be a problem when they are involved in car accidents, compared to just over half (52%) who hold the same view about older drivers.
Road safety should be higher priority
Nearly two-thirds (64%) of parents told researchers they would ensure their children follow any new rules that are brought in.
An even higher percentage of those polled (71%) believe road safety should be a greater priority for the Government.
Motorists aged between 17 and 19 account for only one in 60 UK drivers, but one in eight people killed or hurt on the roads are victims of road accidents involving drivers from this age category.
Analysis by the Transport Research Laboratory of countries where graduated licensing is already in operation suggests a similar scheme in the UK could cut the casualty toll by 4,500 a year, including 430 deaths and serious injuries.
Action needed to cut accidents
RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister says that while the number of road fatalities has fallen over recent years, the “issue of young driver safety is one of those matters that must be addressed” if the reductions are to continue.
He criticised the Government for failing to produce a green paper on young driver safety despite promises to do so, and clear support among the public.
“If there were any other area of public health policy where this level of harm was taking place there would be an outcry,” he said. “Yet as a nation we seem to accept what is happening to many of our young people when they get behind the wheel.”