Motoring organisations are backing a petition urging the Government to include driving on the school curriculum.
The petition has been launched in a bid to help cut the high number of accidents involving newly qualified drivers on the UK’s roads.
Launched by Young Driver, the UK’s largest provider of pre-17 driving lessons, the petition already has backing from the likes of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, the RAC, the Driving Instructors Association, the Association of British Insurers, Admiral and Goodyear.
One in five new drivers has an accident within six months of passing their test and road traffic accidents account for 25 per cent of the deaths of 15-19 year olds in the UK, compared to just 0.5 per cent of the overall adult population.
Every year 400 people are killed in accidents involving young drivers.
The petition does not propose lowering the age at which people can take to the roads, but instead suggests youngsters should start to be taught about driving at school, via both practical and classroom based lessons.
Independent research undertaken on behalf of Young Driver showed that past pupils of the scheme, which takes students from age 11, are half as likely to have an accident when they do pass their test.
Young Driver’s Kim Stanton said: “Driving a vehicle is potentially one of the most dangerous and responsible things a person can do. Learning to drive should be done over a long period of time, and from a young age, when pupils are more receptive to safety messages.
“Evidence-based research shows that road safety messages are better absorbed by children in their early teens rather than at driving age.
“By having this take place at school it can be made inclusive for all. We urge people to sign this petition so we can get this issue in front of the people with the power to change things.”
Mark Lewis, the IAM’s director of standards, added: “The high number of accidents and the sad loss of life as a result of unprepared young drivers urgently needs to be tackled.
“Quite obviously the driving education that youngsters are currently receiving is inadequate. At the IAM we can help prepare people for more advanced driving situations once they have passed their test, but there needs to be more done at an earlier stage.”
To add your signature to the petition visit: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/104632