Young drivers in Deal for life

PUBLISHED: 12:03 24 August 2006 | UPDATED: 11:59 04 May 2010

Young drivers are being asked to think about the way they drive.

Young drivers are being asked to think about the way they drive.

EVERY year 74 per cent of all the people killed or seriously injured in road crashes in Cambridgeshire are young men. Now road safety experts are hoping young drivers and their parents will sign up to a new initiative which has been saving lives in Americ

EVERY year 74 per cent of all the people killed or seriously injured in road crashes in Cambridgeshire are young men. Now road safety experts are hoping young drivers and their parents will sign up to a new initiative which has been saving lives in America. LESLEY INNES looks at the Big Deal scheme, which is about to be publicised at a roadshow in Ely.

EAST Cambridgeshire's young drivers are being asked to enter into a contract with their parents in a bid to save their lives.

In a few weeks' time, county road safety experts will be bringing their Big Deal Roadshow to Ely Market Place to roll out the new initiative.

It has already been heralded a success in America and is now being tried in Cambridgeshire in an attempt to reduce road deaths and serious injuries among 17 to 25-year-olds.

US research has proved that more frequent parental supervision and restricted teen access to cars meant youngsters were less likely to speed and more likely to wear seat belts when driving.

With young men totalling 74 per cent of drivers killed or seriously injured in road crashes on Cambridgeshire's roads, and the peak age being 18, it is hoped the initiative will save lives in the county.

The Big Deal Roadshow will be asking young drivers and their parents or carers to sign an agreement encouraging both to drive more safely.

During the event, which will take place on a date to be set in early September, free safe driving DVDs, magazines and information packs will be handed out by Cambridgeshire County Council's Road Safety Team and the Cambridgeshire Advanced Driving Group.

Cambridgeshire County Council's road safety officer, Matt Deacon, said: "For young drivers, a safe driving contract is a good way to show your parents or carers that you are serious about driving responsibly.

"For parents it helps to set sensible limitations on how and when your young driver uses a vehicle. This is not about distrusting young people - it's just about keeping them safe."

Figures show that during 2005, 78 17 to 25-year-olds were killed or seriously injured in crashes on Cambridgeshire's roads - that's an average of nearly seven every month.

Cambridgeshire Advanced Driving Group training officer, Arthur Wood, said: "Time and experience is the basis for sound judgement. Until your young driver has gained this, they really rely on you to help keep them safe on the roads. I would also encourage all drivers to seek further training to improve their skills behind the wheel."

Contact Matt Deacon on 01480 375470 or email him at matthew.deacon@cambridgeshire.gov.uk.

* One in five drivers crashes within the first year of driving and one in three male drivers aged between 17 and 20 crash in the first two years of qualifying.

* An 18-year-old driver is more than three times as likely to be involved in a crash than a 48-year-old driver.

* Young drivers are more likely to be involved in high-speed crashes, single vehicle crashes involving losing control, crashes in the dark and crashes when overtaking.

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