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Young Driver Fatalities

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Andrew Davies , Minister For Enterprise, Inovation And Networks
Too many young people are being killed on our roads.  Young drivers in Wales account for a third of all road traffic fatalities and one fifth of newly qualified drivers has a collision within the first 12 months of passing their test.  

Many young drivers feel over confident in their ability, meaning that they will take many more risks than an older, more experienced driver.  This is particularly evident in the over representation of young drivers in single vehicle loss of control crashes, whereby the young driver is going too fast for the conditions and leaves the road.

One of the most notoriously difficult challenges we face is getting young drivers to take the road safety message on board.  We have developed safety awareness campaigns targeting young drivers, focussing on the dangers of excessive speed, not wearing a seatbelt and using a mobile phone while driving.  

We are working in partnership with the Police, local authorities and RoSPA to find ways of encouraging young drivers to take a more responsible attitude towards ensuring their own safety and that of their passengers.

Starting next month (June) all local authorities will be offering a new training package to young drivers that will consist of a 3 hour theory session and 8 hour in car session.  Participants will be required to pay a £40 contribution to the course – local authorities will pay the remaining fee £100 from the funding allocated to them by the Welsh Assembly Government’s Road Safety Grant.  Hopefully this new initiative will help to contribute to reducing young driver fatalities on our roads.

In June 2006, the Welsh Assembly will be publishing figures for all road traffic accidents in Wales that took place during 2005.  We will also be reporting, later in the Summer, with more data specifically about traffic accidents involving young adults (17 to 25 year olds) to provide the basis for monitoring the effect of these initiatives.