Tuesday 24 April 2018

Calls for legal driving age to raised to reduce number of Irish road deaths

* New study also reveals backing for 'Big Brother' monitoring - and night-driving curfew

A new survey has found significant support for an increase in the age at which young people are allowed to start driving
A new survey has found significant support for an increase in the age at which young people are allowed to start driving
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

A significant percentage of Irish people are in favour of drastic action to reduce the number of young drivers being killed or injured on our roads.

There is support in a new survey for the age at which young people can get a driving permit to be increased.

Those who took part in the study said they believed that raising it from the current 17-year-old threshold could be a major factor in lowering the number of deaths and injuries involving younger drivers.

In a revealing insight into views on road safety and motoring, the survey also found support for the imposition of a late-night driving curfew for those under a certain age.

They felt it too could help reduce the number of injuries and fatalities.

Indeed a small minority (7.1pc) said they were prepared to go so far as favouring a ban on all drivers under 21 from using our motorways.

The survey of 350 Irish people was conducted by the Car Loan Warehouse as part of research carried out across the UK and Ireland.

Its key findings reveal how:

π 30pc would back moves to raise the legal age for a driver permit from the current 17-year-old limit.

π 18.6pc are in favour of black-box monitoring systems.

π Nearly one-in-five support late-night curfews for younger drivers.

π 7.1pc would ban all drivers under the age of 21 from motorways.

π 38.6pc support the minimum number of driving lessons for all learners.

According to the authors of the Car Loan Warehouse research, young women were "particularly passionate" about there being a minimum number of driving lessons. Nearly half (48.5pc) said they support the concept.

On monitoring new drivers at the wheel, the authors say there is a small, but significant, percentage who would favour a 'Big Brother' approach.

They point out: "While many drivers have cried 'Big Brother' in the face of hotly-debated black-box monitoring technology, male participants gave these systems their support - as this measure scooped a sizeable 42pc of their votes."

Men were also more 'enthusiastic' (39.5pc) about raising the age from which people can get a driver permit.

Such a measure only got 21.5pc support from women.

Many 35-44 year-olds felt a late-night curfew for young drivers could reduce road accidents.

A quarter (25pc) of those in that age bracket would support such a measure.

While the level of support for what many would view as being drastic changes and approaches is outweighed by those in favour of leaving things as they are, the figures do show how a substantial minority, in many cases, feel there is a need to do something more to reduce fatalities among young drivers.

What measures would you support? Or do you think there is no need for any more?

Please let us know here at: ecunningham@independent.ie


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