Charity says ban on passengers for young drivers is not the answer
A YOUNG drivers' safety charity has reacted angrily to insurers' attempts to ban teenagers from carrying passengers.
Time and Place, founded in the Forest of Dean after 19 young motorists' deaths in a single year, said education was the answer, not limiting passengers.
It was the ABI – Association of British Insurers – which last week suggested any restrictions to limit the number of passengers young newly qualified drivers could carry for an initial period after passing their test would be "a step in the right direction".
But Time and Place founder Jimmy Martin said if somebody aged 17 was responsible enough to pass their driving test they were responsible enough to carry passengers.
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"They are penalising the majority for the minority," Mr Martin said.
"I feel very strongly that what should happen is what Time and Place is doing. Going into schools and educating young people about the dangers.
"I think the government should actually be putting it (road safety) into schools and giving the schools more time to educate young people about this."
The ABI has also lobbied government about only allowing family members as passengers with new young drivers.
Again Mr Martin said: "A lot of my young people wouldn't want to take a parent out with them for the night ... and some haven't got any parents".
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has, however, said he was considering the ABI proposals. "I read regular reports where three or four young people have been killed in a car," he said. "It's a new driver and you wonder what happened ... when I talk to young people ... they say sometimes that there is peer pressure put on them to go fast, to show off."
Recently youngsters Jake Gardner, Ollie Pain and Harry Smith all died on Gloucestershire's roads but coroners' inquiries continue.