Open letter declares ‘overwhelming support’ for GDL

10.28 | 3 July 2024 |

Image: RoadPeace

RoadPeace has issued an open letter to the incoming government urging them to introduce a graduated driver licensing (GDL) system in the UK, a move it says would ‘drastically reduce’ road crashes involving young and inexperienced drivers.

The open letter, which was signed by more than 1,900 people in just two weeks, has been sent to all political parties ahead of the upcoming General Election, calling for the new law to be introduced within the first 100 days of the next Parliament. 

Many of the signatories are bereaved parents whose sons and daughters were killed in young driver crashes, and are part of the GDL campaign group Forget-me-not Families Uniting, which was launched in April 2024 with the support of RoadPeace.

Nick Simmons, CEO of RoadPeace, said: “Bereaved families, academics and road safety bodies have repeatedly called for the introduction of a GDL system in the UK for decades to ensure that young drivers and passengers are far better protected from road harm. 

“However, these calls have been ignored, with concerns cited about restricting young people’s freedom.

“But as bereaved parents know all too well – nothing is more restrictive on a young person’s freedom than a fatal road crash.”

The RoadPeace letter follows the publication of the Road Safety Manifesto in May, co-ordinated by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), which has the support of almost 100 UK road safety organisations. 

The manifesto calls for the next government to adopt four key priorities to reduce road death and injury – one of those priorities is GDL.

Jamie Hassall, executive director of PACTS, said: “The introduction of GDL is a critical step towards making our roads safer. 

“Young and inexperienced drivers are disproportionately involved in serious and fatal collisions, and GDL has been proven internationally to significantly reduce these incidents. 

“This measure is long overdue in the UK, and we strongly urge the next government to prioritise its implementation within the first 100 days of Parliament. The benefits in terms of lives saved and injuries prevented cannot be overstated.”

In 2022, 4,935 people were killed or seriously injured in crashes in Great Britain involving at least one young driver.

GDL is a system designed to help new drivers gain experience and skills gradually over time in low-risk environments.



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