Graduated Driving Licence
Local MSP David Stewart, Labour, has been campaigning since 2010 for the introduction of a graduated driving licence. The legislation for graduated driving licences is reserved to the UK Parliament,however, there is broad cross party support in the Scottish Parliament for such a scheme.
David Stewart said:
“In the Highlands and Grampian areas 15.7 % of all collisions involve a driver aged between 17 and 19 years. In these areas alone we, could reduce the casualties by 64 and prevent those killed or seriously injured by 13, if a graduated licence scheme was introduced.”
“We know that in Scotland for example, as a result of research carried out by Dr Sarah Jones of Cardiff University, that if such a scheme was adopted here up to 22 lives could be saved per year and up to £80 million to the Scottish Economy.
“In previous years I have met with staff from the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) in London and they were able to produce a document showing all the positive benefits of such a scheme and the lives that could be saved if such a scheme were to be introduced including savings to the economy. For example this research revealed that in Scotland alone 12.5% of all road collision involve a driver aged between 17 and 19 years.”
Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport in the Scottish Government responding to a question from David Stewart said:
“ I am encouraged by the work being undertaken by the North of Scotland Driver Awareness Team (NOSDAT).The Scottish Government believes that all road users have a part to play in keeping our roads and their environs safe by understanding their responsibilities and acting responsibly and within the law. It is excellent to see those involved with NOSDAT working in partnership to share expertise and encourage road safety.
“Regarding GDL [Graduated Driving Licence], the Scottish Government supports the introduction of such a scheme. This remains the young driver initiative with the most clear and unambiguous evidence to show that it reduces the crash rate for new and young drivers, as has been starkly demonstrated by countries around the world which have introduced some form of GDL.
As a road safety campaigner David Stewart MSP has met with the RAC Foundation, driving groups and organisations, all of whom have been supportive. He has welcomed the news that the UK Government plan to consider introducing a form of Graduated Driving Licence later this year.
David Stewart said:
“I have written to the Transport Secretary [in the UK Government]the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP seeking clarity now on the Governments latest position and I am of course grateful to all those who campaigned with me and the group I set up (NOSDAT – North Of Scotland Driver Awareness Scheme) to help secure such a scheme.
“It has been a long road to get this far and we are not over the finish line yet, but for those who have lost loved ones I hope we can get these changes in the law which will alleviate some of the pain they have endured.
“I truly believe that this scheme if finally introduced is a positive step to make our roads safer and I am convinced it will hopefully save many young lives. It is a truism that there is no greater loss than the loss of a child. Let’s hope that now at last we are taking positive action to address the carnage on our roads involving particularly young people.”