Thursday 8 December 2016

Learners who use our roads as a playground must be driven out

Published 25/11/2016 | 02:30

The emergency services cut a crash victim from a car during a demonstration day at the Dublin training centre Picture: Collins
The emergency services cut a crash victim from a car during a demonstration day at the Dublin training centre Picture: Collins

The sentencing of an unaccompanied learner driver this week for causing the death of a mother and daughter last Christmas in tragic circumstances has prompted an overdue debate on how to protect the public from high-risk drivers on our roads. The case exposed the all-consuming grief of those bereaved and the remorse of the young driver convicted.

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Of course the case was exceptional. No comparisons can be made or conclusions drawn on an individual basis, but it has brought a focus to a wider problem.

Of the total number of drivers on Ireland's roads, stated to be around 2.5 million, 250,000 are learners. These young drivers lack experience but the majority behave sensibly, and in the main will mature to become experienced and competent. Nevertheless some of these young drivers die on our roads or are responsible for the deaths of others.

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