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1 in 5 young drivers uninsured

Almost a quarter of a million young motorists are driving illegally because they do not have any insurance cover, according to a report released today by BBC’s Newsbeat.

uninsured-driversThey found that more than 20% of 17 to 20 year olds are not covered by a valid car insurance policy, which amounts to a staggering 243,000 illegal young drivers on our roads.

Many illegal drivers cite the huge cost of an insurance policy as being the reason for not having cover.  Yet the risks of not having a policy are huge, not just for themselves, but also for anybody they may be unfortunate enough to crash into.

The BBC reports the story of 21 year old Gary Street, who was hit by an uninsured driver at 30mph in Manchester two years ago.

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Deaths on Britain’s roads at all time low

uksalogoThe Department for Transport has published statistics on road casualties in accidents reported to the police in Great Britain in 2008, according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority

  • The number of people killed in road accidents reported to the police, fell by 14 per cent from 2,946 in 2007 to 2,538 in 2008. 28,567 people were killed or seriously injured in 2008, 7 per cent fewer than in 2007. There were just under 231,000 road casualties in Great Britain in 2008, 7 per cent less than in 2007.
  • The number of deaths among car users in 2008 was 1,257, 12 per cent less than in the previous year.  The reported number of seriously injured fell by 7 per cent to 10,707.  Total reported casualties among car users were 149,169, 8 per cent lower than 2007. Traffic estimates indicate a 1 per cent fall in car and taxi traffic over the period.
  • Child casualties fell by 8 per cent. The number of children killed or seriously injured in 2008 was 2,807 (down 9 per cent on 2007). Of those, 1,784 were pedestrians, 6 per cent down on 2007. 124 children died on the roads, 2 per cent higher than in the previous year, when the lowest ever child fatality figure of 121 was recorded.
  • There were 572 pedestrian deaths, 11 per cent less than in 2007. Reported killed or serious injured casualties fell by 4 per cent to 6,642. The all pedestrian casualty figure fell to 28,481 in 2008, 6 per cent lower than 2007.
  • The number of pedal cyclists killed fell by 15 per cent from 136 in 2007 to 115 in 2008. The number of seriously injured rose by 1 per cent to 2,450. The total casualties among pedal cyclists rose by 1 per cent to 16,297.
  • There were 493 motorcycle user fatalities in accidents reported to the police in 2008, 16 per cent lower than during 2007. The reported number of killed or seriously injured fell compared to 2007 (down 10 percent from 6,737 in 2007 to 6,048 in 2008).  The all motorcycle user casualties figure for 2008 of 21,549 is 8 per cent lower than in 2007.
  • There were 170,500 road accidents involving personal injury reported to the police in 2008, 6 per cent fewer than in 2007.  Of these, 25,457 accidents involved death or serious injury, 6 percent fewer than in 2007 (27,036).
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Many motorists ‘driving illegally’

Source:  Tracy Ollerenshaw, BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat

driver_being_pursued_by_police1More than half of all new drivers banned in the first two years of passing their test don’t bother retaking it.  The law says after a ban you must re-sit a test before driving again, but many people don’t realise.

Road safety groups reckon many young people are getting behind the wheel illegally.

They’re asking courts not to send driving licenses back to banned drivers before they’ve passed a re-test.

Ollie from Essex was aged 17 and had only been driving a few weeks when he got pulled over.

“I got caught speeding,” he says, “doing a hundred miles an hour, so it was an instant ban.”

He’s one of thousands of young drivers who get disqualified every month for picking up six points or more in their first two years after passing their test.

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BBC Watchdog investigates DVLA licence blunder

bbc_watchdogWhen was the last time you checked your licence properly?  Have you applied for a replacement due to a change of name or address?  Have you checked the back of your licence to check that the DVLA haven’t mistakenly added full motorcycle entitlement and removed your car entitlement?  Or if you’re a motorcyclist, has your entitlement been removed for no apparent reason?

BBC’s Watchdog (which aired on 27th April 2009) broadcast a feature in which several members of the public pointed out that these things had actually happened to them. “The DVLA know where we live, when we got our licence and most importantly they know what we’re entitled to drive – or do they?”

Watch the full story here

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