Learner drivers

Title: Novice drivers - evidence review and evaluation

Organisation: TRL (on behalf of DfT)
Date uploaded: 14th October 2013
Date published/launched: October 2013

This report reviewed and synthesised evidence of effectiveness for three approaches to tackling young and novice driver safety, for consideration in GB.

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The over-representation of young novice drivers in road collisions is a public health risk in Great Britain and worldwide.

The key contributory factors to this problem are known and are cross-cultural; they are youth and inexperience.

This report reviewed and synthesised evidence of effectiveness for three approaches to tackling young and novice driver safety, for consideration in Great Britain:
Pre-driver education and training for those under 17 years old;
Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL);
The Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act (1995).

While provision of pre-driver education and training is widespread, evidence of effectiveness is absent. Conversely, evidence of the effectiveness of GDL from countries where it has been implemented is strong and consistent.

The New Drivers Act appears to have had a beneficial effect on offending patterns in Great Britain and may have had a safety benefit through deterrence from driving.

Based on the evidence, it is recommended that licensing in GB be based on a full GDL system.

Analysis of STATS19 data and evidence of effectiveness in other countries suggests that a GDL system in Great Britain could save 4,471 casualties and 224 million annually based on 17-19 year old drivers only.

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