Motorists back more restrictions on new drivers
Suggested requirements include a minimum number of supervised hours behind the wheel before taking their test, and mandatory lessons on motorways and in difficult conditions.
Young and old motorists also backed a zero-tolerance drink-drive limit and a ban on carrying young passengers late at night, according to a study by road safety campaign group Brake and insurers Direct Line.
Julie Townsend, Brake’s deputy chief executive, urged the UK government to introduce the reforms which have already dramatically reduced casualties in other countries.
She said: “Death and serious injury on roads is devastating, especially so when it involves someone young, with their whole life ahead of them.
“Evidence on how to reduce young-driver crashes is very clear; by introducing a system of graduated licensing we can expect to make real inroads to ending the devastation caused by young-driver crashes.
“We’re calling on government to take bold steps by introducing all elements of graduated licensing – including a minimum learning period and post-test licence restrictions – but without compromising safety by simultaneously introducing changes that would increase risk, such as a lower minimum driving age.”
Of those polled, 84 per cent supported a minimum learning period, including 69 per cent of those under 25.
Seven out of ten backed a zero-tolerance drink-drive limit for new drivers, while nine out of ten want mandatory lessons on motorway driving.
Road accidents are the biggest killer of young people aged 15 to 24 in Britain, with an average of 13 deaths and serious injuries every day.
Brake says that a combination of age and inexperience leads young drivers to take unnecessary risks on the roads.
The Scottish Government backs new rules for recently licensed drivers, and the UK government is planning a green paper on the issue.
A Transport Scotland spokeswoman said: “The Scottish Government asked the UK government to consider introducing graduated driver licensing in November 2012.
“Department for Transport officials have undertaken to work with Scottish Government officials during the development of this green paper.
“The evidence is clear – some form of graduated driver licensing can reduce the risk of accidents. Road deaths are decreasing in Scotland, but we can always do more. Taking action to reduce these figures is not about penalising young and novice drivers, it is about saving lives and making our roads as safe as they possibly can be.”