Written evidence submitted by RoadPeace


We write to request that the following points are shared with committee members and form part of considerations for the ongoing inquiry into young and novice drivers, and the committee’s subsequent report and recommendations to government on this matter.


We note that a wide range of stakeholders have been consulted and called to provide evidence to the committee. We agree that it is vital that a wide range of stakeholders are consulted for such an important issue. However, we would like to highlight that while all of these stakeholder groups have contributions to make, we would urge that those based on evidence, rather than those focusing on personal anecdote and preference, should be given greater weight by the committee if the  goal is to robustly identify what the government can do to improve the safety of young and novice drivers in Great Britain.


There is research from over three decades, in 83 jurisdictions across the world, demonstrating categorically that Graduated Licensing works to reduce collisions and injuries, and that it can be introduced without adversely impacting on things like access to education and work for those affected. Over the same period, we have evidence showing that other approaches, such as education and training, directly contribute very little to improving safety, given current understanding.


It is also important that the views of young people, provided to the committee, are considered in the right context. While the views of those affected by any change to the licensing process should be taken into account to understand how best to implement it, these views should not outweigh the evidence of effectiveness, and evidence of feasibility, seen in the formal research.


We also wish to draw attention to the survey the committee utilised to solicit opinions from young people. Some of the questions within this survey are rather leading, and the findings need to be interpreted carefully.


The Committee may wish to also consider other surveys, undertaken by professional researchers and panel companies which reveal much more nuanced and positive feelings about the subject. For example, the 2014 RAC Foundation/Ipsos MORI survey, which used a representative sample of 2,010 British adults aged 16+, demonstrated that even among young people there is greater support than opposition for Graduated Licensing (in this survey, 41% support the introduction of GDL in comparison to 32% who oppose it[1]).


We hope that the collective weight of the signatories to this letter will impress upon the committee the importance that we attach to graduated driver licensing as the most effective way to reduce the terrible toll of death and injury involving young drivers.  We sincerely hope that the committee report will reflect the accumulated evidence and research, in order to best improve the safety of young and novice drivers.


Yours sincerely


Dr Shaun Helman, Chief Scientist: Behaviour, Data and Mobility

Transport Research Laboratory (TRL)


Mary Williams OBE, CEO



Nick Simmons, CEO



Elizabeth Box, Head of Research

RAC Foundation


David Davies, Executive Director



Tony Greenidge, Chief Executive

IAM RoadSmart


Roger Geffen, Policy Director

Cycling UK


Sally Lines OBE, Chief Executive

The Road Safety Trust


South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership


PCC Philip Seccombe

Warwickshire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner


PCC Jane Kennedy

Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside


Paul Nicholls, Chairman

Motor Accident Solicitors Society


Jennie Martin, Secretary General

Intelligent Transport Systems, (ITS)


Peter J Harvey, National Chairman

The Motor Schools Association of Great Britain


Dr Sarah Jones, Honorary Senior Lecturer, Cardiff University


November 2020





[1] https://www.racfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/ipsos_mori_young_driver_safety_survey_final_june_2014.pdf