Monday 17 June 2019

Revealed: Less than 6pc of fatal collisions in past four years involved a learner driver

On average 12 learner drivers are involved in fatal crashes every year Newsdesk Newsdesk

Less than 6pc of fatal collisions in Ireland in the past four years involved a learner driver, newly compiled figures show.

This means that the proportion of learner drivers in fatal car accidents is much lower than the proportion of learner drivers on the road.

Almost 9pc of all drivers in Ireland hold a learners permit, but figures supplied to RTÉ's Prime Time show that just 5.8pc of fatal collisions involved a learner driver in the past four years.

The Road Safety Authority has said that in the past three years 47 learner drivers have been involved in fatal crashes.

There are plans to amend legislation to hold car owners responsible if learner motorists drive unaccompanied.

Some of the proposals include the introduction of imprisonment, fines and the seizing of vehicles.

The RSA told Prime Time that unaccompanied learner drivers are “out there causing serious risk to other people and it really isn’t acceptable”.

"On average twelve learners are involved in fatal crashes every year and ten are unaccompanied," RSA chief executive Moyagh Murdock said.

"That compares very unfavourably with our near neighbours in the north where in 2016 they reported no learner or unaccompanied learner involved in a fatal crash.

"Those are stark figures – there’s not much difference in society between north and south but there is a different attitude towards unaccompanied learner drivers".

Alec Lee, whose 17-year-old daughter Carol was killed in a crash in Co Tipperary in 2000, appealed for learner drivers not to drive unaccompanied.

"All I’ve got left is memories and photographs and when you look through photos your heart breaks because the main thing that really upsets me is that there was no reason for my daughter to be dead, she should be alive and enjoying her life -the pain is still there – half my heart is gone”

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