Demand to curb teenage drivers after fatal crash

Police Scotland are appealing for anyone who witnessed the accident. Picture: Contributed
Police Scotland are appealing for anyone who witnessed the accident. Picture: Contributed
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A TEENAGER was killed after a car carrying four teenage passengers and driven by a 17-year-old crashed into a tree in Aberdeenshire.

The accident on Saturday night led to fresh calls last night that teenage drivers should be protected from themselves by being prohibited from driving at night or carrying more than one passenger.

The Scottish Campaign Against Irresponsible Drivers (SCID) repeated the need for the introduction of a “graduated” driving licence following the car crash in which the 19-year-old man was killed.

The red Ford Fiesta crashed in Mintlaw in Aberdeenshire with a 17-year-old male, an 18-year-old male and two 17-year-old female passengers all hurt, though their injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

They were all taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary while the 19-year-old man died at the scene of the accident, which happened just before 9pm.

Last month, five teenagers, aged between 16 and 18, were killed after their Toyota Corolla collided with a Seat Leon in fog in South Yorkshire.

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Yesterday, Margaret Dekker, secretary of SCID said: “This is a terrible tragedy and one’s heart goes out to the parents of the teenager who has been killed and all those involved.

“These accidents involving young drivers do keep happening and nothing seems to have been done to help stop them. The graduated licence scheme was presented to parliament but nothing has happened.”

The Graduated Driving Licence Scheme Bill had its first reading in the House of Commons in June 2013 but failed to proceed through parliament.

The bill would have made it illegal for a newly qualified driver to carry more than one passenger for the first 12 months and, if he or she accrued more than six penalty points during this time, their licence would be revoked and they would have to resit the driving test.

At the end of the 12-month period, newly qualified drivers would then be allowed to apply for a full driving licence subject to the completion of an advanced driving course that included both night driving and motorway driving.

Ms Dekker said society now appears to accept the tragic death of drivers and passengers, and does little to help the families shattered by road accidents.

She added: “There are still roughly 200 deaths in car crashes on Scotland’s roads each year and while that number is dropping, we all want to see it drop even further.

“We know young people are more susceptible to peer pressure and we should make it easier for them by preventing them from being in this position while they are still developing their driving skills.”

Police Scotland said that they were appealing for anyone who witnessed the accident, or who saw the car being driven before that, to contact them.

In August, Robbie Gemmell, 17, pleaded guilty to careless driving and causing the deaths of three schoolfriends after crashing a Peugeot 206 into a wall in November 2013.

The crash near Tyninghame, East Lothian, claimed the lives of David Armstrong, 15, Joshua Stewart, 16, and Jenna Barbour, 18. Gemmell avoided a prison sentence and was given 300 hours community service.

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