Crash victim’s dad backs safety moves
PLANS to introduce tougher rules for new drivers, with a graduate driving licence, have been praised by the parents of Jack Savage who died in a crash on the A419.
North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson wants to establish a law, which would place restrictions on new drivers at night, the number of people a novice driver can have in their car, a zero alcohol limit and schemes to sharpen their skills.
Under his plans, young drivers would have to pass certain skills in a competency scheme, such as night driving, with each achievement being ticked off by a qualified instructor.
He also wants to introduce incentives, such as lower insurance for people who do not drive after 11pm.
Mr Tomlinson’s proposals, which are being brought as a Private Member’s Bill, comes after three teenagers – Jack Savage, Shaya Leigh and Kerrylee O’Leary-Staniford – were killed in two separate crashes on the A419 just a week apart.
Jack was only 20 when he died in a crash involving a Ford Fiesta, in which he was a passenger, and an articulated lorry.
It happened on the sliproad from the A419 northbound, leading to the Commonhead roundabout.
His father Steve said any rules that helped young people realise the risks of the road should be supported.
“Anything that protects children and young adults would be a benefit,” he said.
“They don’t understand what they don’t know and what they don’t know is a great deal about the dangers of the road.
Mr Tomlinson’s proposals have been discussed with motor insurance representatives, driving instructor organisations and charities working on road safety.
Mr Tomlinson said, as well as making the roads safer for young drivers, his Bill could also reduce insurance premiums by 20 per cent.
He said: “There are two drivers for this Bill. Firstly, the safety benefits – we have seen first-hand in Swindon just how important this is.
“Secondly, it will help bring down insurance premiums for young drivers.”
The Bill is feeding into the findings of a Transport Research Laboratory report which came out yesterday.
It recommends a 12-month learner stage with 100 hours of daytime driving practice under supervision, and 20 hours at night.
The report also calls for the driving age to be raised to 18.
However, driving instructor Jo Sylvester, of Sylvester Driving School, said it would be very hard to bring in the 100-hour rule.
“Lots of students will not be able to afford it,” she said.
“But anything that makes the road safer has to be good,”
Mr Tomlinson’s Bill will before a committee on October 25.
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