Young drivers at greater risk of being involved in a serious or fatal collision
Approximately 30 young drivers are killed every year on the roads across Wales, from research carried out by Welsh Government, young drivers are more likely to be involved in a serious or fatal accident than any other road user group.
T/Assistant Chief Constable Jonathan Edwards, All Wales Strategic Roads Policing Lead said:
“Young drivers are a unique group of road users, inexperienced and at the start of their driving lives. For some, the freedom of being able to travel freely is reward enough however, an increasing number of new drivers are choosing to drive dangerously, take risks, give into peer pressure and put lives at risk.
“From figures published by Welsh Government in 2016, there were 239 young people aged 16-24 killed or seriously injured. This is an alarming figure, with so many young adults affected by dangerous driving.
“Changing behaviours takes a partnership approach, reducing the young drivers killed or seriously injured requires emergency services, family, friends and technology to work together.”
Focused activity will take place from 22nd -28th January, which will see Police Forces across Wales highlight three themes to assist educate and change driving habits of young drivers.
Teresa Healy, GoSafe Partnership Manager said:
“In recent years, emergency services and partner agencies have worked on a number of campaigns and operations to ensure that young drivers are aware of the potential danger they place themselves and other in when choosing to drive recklessly.
“Due to inexperience, young adults are more likely to be affected by peer pressure making this road user group increasingly likely to be involved in a road traffic collision. The only way young drivers can make a change is by standing up and challenging peer pressure, not be frightened to say no or remove themselves from dangerous situations.
“Parents and technology also have an important role ensuring young driver safety. Road safety starts a long time before getting behind the wheel, it’s an ongoing conversation throughout life. Parents can provide young drivers will a wealth of knowledge and experience which can positively impact new drivers.”
Technology can enable young drivers to act more sensibly, Black Boxes and Dash Cams can be utilised as learning aids to improve driving habits and improve safety.
GoSafe recently launched Operation Snap with the four police forces in Wales, this multiagency operation enables road users to use recording devices to submit footage of dangerous driving.
T/ACC Edwards continued:
“Operation Snap, developed following feedback from members of the community, can also be used as a useful tool for parents to understand how young drivers are behaving on the roads. In addition this operation also acts as a deterrent for young drivers as there is nowhere to hide.”
Andy Broadhead, Welsh Government said:
“It is encouraging to see that this is an area where partners have collectively achieved some welcome reductions in the number of young people losing their lives on Welsh roads. Young people are increasingly becoming aware of the risks facing them as they navigate life and social media has become an invaluable tool for getting key messages across and raising awareness. We will continue to support, guide and importantly listen to their views as it is important that they themselves help shape future developments and identify gaps in knowledge and experience.