New proposals to let 15 and 16-year-olds drive are nuts

Campaigners’ calls for 15 and 16-year-olds to be able to drive legally on British roads in a major rule change are bonkers with Rishi Sunak’s Government quite rightly denying the plea.

The Parliament petition has significant backing with more than 94,600 signatures already lending their hand to the demands.

It puts poll organisers on the verge of securing a Parliament debate after arguing that the current 17-year-old threshold is “unfair” and inconsistent with the Equality Act 2010.

The laughable claim that Britain’s youth are being served an injustice for not getting access to one of the most dangerous modes of transport is comical.

The simple fact is that 15 and 16-year-olds should not be trusted behind the wheel and if any changes to the law are made, the minimum age should be rising to 18 or even 21.

READ MORE ‘I’m a car expert – 15-year-olds drivers will lead to widespread law changes’

America and Mexico are among the only countries in the Western world to allow 16-year-olds behind the wheel and the data makes for grim reading.

Data from the International Transport Forum shows road fatalities per 100,000 people are higher in the USA and Mexico than here in Britain.

Statistics from Mexico show a whopping 625 15 to 17-year-olds were killed in collisions back in 2020.

A whopping 1,016 were killed between the ages of 18 and 20 with just 8,197 losing their lives between the ages of 25 and 64.

America’s National Safety Council shows that younger motorists are over-represented in casualty data across the Atlantic.

‘Nonsense’ plan to let 15-year-olds drive takes step closer to Parliament debate[LATEST]
Motorists slam ‘dangerous’ plan to let 15-year-olds drive[COMMENT]
POLL: Should the driving age be lowered to 15?[ANALYSIS]

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Sixteen to 19-year-olds account for 3.6 percent of licensed drivers but make up for 9.3 percent of all crashes.

Sadly, the data shows that 6.3 percent of all road fatalities are among this age group.

Here in the UK, 2021 data from the Department for Transport shows around a fifth of all motorists killed or seriously injured involve a younger driver between 17 and 24.

Sixteen percent of all motoring deaths involved youngsters from this age group with 78 losing their lives.

That’s 78 young people with bright futures ahead of them gone and 78 families with an empty seat at the dining table.

A chart shows the disproportionate number of youngsters involved in collisions compared to those above the age of 25.

It shows there are around 150 and 200 casualties per billion miles driven with rates much higher for males, almost double the numbers for slightly older motorists.

Thankfully, the Department for Transport will not be dragged into this barmy discussion with officials already shutting down any chance of a renegotiation.

Responding to the poll, chiefs said: “The Government has no current plans to lower the legal driving age. This is because young drivers remain as one of the highest fatality groups.

“The Government is committed to improving the safety of all road users, especially young drivers who are at a greater risk of being involved in a collision.”

For once, common sense prevails.

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