Young driver safety paper ‘on hold’ again

Campaigners have hit out after the Government announced it is to postpone the publication of a paper designed to help cut the number of road traffic accidents young drivers are involved in.

The Green Paper on young driver safety had already been promised at various times this year but it has now been announced it will not be published until 2014.

The Government being accused of “kicking the issue into the long grass”.

Dangers

Statistics have shown that almost a quarter of the road traffic accidents which resulted in a death or serious injury in 2012 involved a driver under the age of 24.

David Davies, executive director of the Parliamentary Advisory Committee for Transport Safety, said: “It looks like a clear case of putting politics before the safety of young people, giving the general election priority over saving lives.”

Announcing the postponement of the Green Paper, Road Safety Minister Robert Goodwill said the safety of young people on the roads was “very important” to the Government.

He said “too many young people” are killed in road accidents but added that the Government is “wrestling” with how to improve safety while “not unduly restricting the freedom of our young people”.

‘Difficult balance’

Mr Goodwill said the Government wants young people to be able to travel safely on UK roads but added: “We are finding this a difficult balance, with passionate voices on both sides. We will issue a paper when we have considered this further.”

But Labour MP Richard Burden said he is concerned that action will not be taken during the current parliament.

And he said he is worried the Government is “just kicking a decision on this major public health and safety problem into the long grass”.

David Bizley, technical director of the RAC, said: “It is unfortunate that there has been a further delay to the Green Paper which was originally scheduled for publication this summer.

“We want to see concerted action from government, insurers and other stakeholder groups to address a problem that is a top priority for improving safety on our roads.”

People injured in road accidents up to three years ago can be guided through the claims process by experts at firms such as Accident Advice Helpline.

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