Bereaved parents demand Government action on deaths from young driver crashes

A group of 40 bereaved parents are demanding immediate action to tackle the unacceptable and disproportionately high number of young driver and passenger deaths on UK roads.

The parents, whose sons and daughters were all killed by cars driven by young drivers, have formed a campaigning group called Forget-me-not Families Uniting, calling on the Government to save young lives.

For decades, Governments have been repeatedly presented with the evidence on how to reduce the huge risks facing young, novice drivers aged 17-24 and their passengers, but they have all failed to act.

In Great Britain, young drivers between the ages of 17–24 are involved in 24% of all collisions resulting in death or serious injury, even though this group account for just 7% of the total driving population.

In 2022, 4,935 people were killed or seriously injured in crashes involving at least one young driver – this includes other road users of all ages, such as people travelling in separate cars or pedestrians.**

Data from transport safety studies, car insurance companies and driving charities over many years has shown that drivers under the age of 24 are more likely to have crashes when they are carrying similar aged passengers in their car, when driving at night and when driving conditions are difficult.

In response to this evidence, several countries, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many US States, have successfully introduced Graduated Driving Licensing, which restricts the number of similar aged passengers a young driver can carry in the car and night time driving.

In these countries, there has been a reduction in deaths and serious injuries in crashes involving young drivers by between 20% and 40%, following the introduction of Graduated Driving Licensing.

The parents’ calls come soon after the UK’s leading experts in transport safety, health and psychology signed an open letter calling on national politicians to commit to taking action on proven, evidence-based measures to save young lives on the UK’s roads. It was published last month in the Guardian.

Forget-me-not Families Uniting was formed by Sharron Huddleston, Chris and Nicole Taylor and Dr Ian Greenwood after years of campaigning for the introduction of a Graduated Driving Licensing system in the UK, following the deaths of their daughters.

Sharron and Ian also appeared on BBC Breakfast television this morning to raise awareness about the campaign (watch the show at 2 hours and 13 minutes on iPlayer:

Mrs Huddleston said: “Enough is enough. How many more young people need to die before action is taken? We can’t sit back any longer and just watch as more and more young people are killed or seriously injured in road collisions.

“Our group was formed as a means of reaching out to the Government collectively, as individual contacts resulted in no action. I had been campaigning for years and nobody has listened, despite all of the overwhelming evidence that was being put to them by leading experts in this field.

“Our message to the Government is simple – listen to us, listen to the experts and learn from other countries, who have seen a huge reduction in young driver and passenger deaths after introducing Graduated Driving Licensing for young novice drivers.

“We all want and deserve a serious conversation with the Government. We want to know what they are going to do about this huge problem. If they won’t introduce a Graduated Driving Licensing system, why? And if not that, then what?


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