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To think yes actually it IS time to legislate to stop teenage drivers driving a car full of their mates around at night?

(173 Posts)
northernlurker Sun 16-Nov-14 17:37:52

Very distressing story on BBC here. If you don't want to click - it's 5 teens killed last night in the same car. Two girls, three boys. I have a child the same age as some of them and it's just so sad. I've always thought that you couldn't legislate for this but something has to be done. There was a triple fatal crash on the same bit of road also involving teens a few years ago and it happens again and again. The first funeral I ever went to was a girl in the year above me at school. There were 4 in that car. Two killed, one badly injured and one slightly hurt.
If teenage drivers were limited to no more than two passengers under the age of 21 would it help?

Meechimoo Sun 16-Nov-14 17:42:52

I agree. I also think the age of learning to drive should be raised to 21.
I worked in car insurance many years ago and the number of calls we had concerning teenage (mostly male) drivers was astronomical.

PrivateBenjamin Sun 16-Nov-14 17:43:56

I think they do something similar to this in Australia where young drivers in their first 3 years of passing their test are not allowed to carry more than 1 person under the age of 22 in their car (unless a direct family member). Also I believe there are some restrictions about new drivers not being allowed to drive between 11pm and 5am.

It's a good idea and I fully support it. It breaks my heart to read about young people killed due to lack of experience/ over confidence/ driving fast to 'show off' to their peers.

ArchangelGallic Sun 16-Nov-14 17:45:56

I certainly think there should be some restrictions on new drivers.

I heard a 26 year old chap in court last week who had held his licence for less than 2 years and already had 3 points for using his phone, 6 points for not returning a form to DVLA, and the magistrates awarded a further 3 points for speeding and a disqualification.
Restricting new drivers to only 6 points on their licence then forcing them to retake their test, just isn't strong enough. We somehow need to remove some of the risk factor that new drivers can't recognise.

BiscuitsAreMyDownfall Sun 16-Nov-14 17:46:09

It is law in some countries I believe.

Bulbasaur Sun 16-Nov-14 17:46:20

Yep, we have that law here in the US. Only one passenger at a time until they're 18-19, or in some states it applies the first 6 months to a year after they get their license. Luckily for me, it passed after I left high school and we were all carpooling everywhere. It has cut down quite substantially on teen deaths though.

BellaVita Sun 16-Nov-14 17:48:09

northern, I totally agree that something needs to be done.

DS1 is learning to drive at the minute (has his test next month) and I would not be happy at all if he carried loads of other passengers about, to be fair he will be borrowing my car as he is off to uni next year so no point in him having his own so I can control to some extent the rules of him going out in mine if that makes sense?

northernlurker Sun 16-Nov-14 17:48:29

Dd will be learning next year. I think I am going to talk to her about a passenger restriction. Also about using her dad's rule for seatbelts - the car does not move until all belts are in use.

AlfalfaMale Sun 16-Nov-14 17:50:38

I just saw this on Twitter, has really taken the wind out of my sails today sad

Is there something about behaviour when the car is full that makes an incident more likely? It's a long time since I was a teenager so I really don't know. But some people I knew from school died in a car with five people in it - the car went off the road and all five were killed. A taxi driver who'd carried some of the kids earlier in the night said some of the big - 17 and 18yr old rugby playing lads - had been jumping around side to side in the back seat of his cab and he'd had to threaten to stop the car. The police theorised that something similar might have caused the smaller accident vehicle to lose grip and leave the road sad

All of which is a roundabout way of getting to, of numbers contribute to likelihood of an accident, then of course it makes sense to limit numbers.

But if not, is three teenagers dying less tragic than five? Except in the obvious mathematical way. Because if that's the case, why not no passengers rather than two? Or just by realistic?

Catsarebastards Sun 16-Nov-14 17:52:28

Surely it is the age of the driver/lack of experience and not the number of passengers that is causing the accidents? If a teen is going to speed/be careless they will do it whether they have 1 or 4 passengers. I agree with raising the age limit. Not sure about the curfew. If they are passed to drive then they should be considered as safe at 3am as they are at 3pm. The same as older drivers. Unless the curfew was to be extended to all drivers or to all drivers within a certain period of passing test. I also think getting a license should require far more lessons and harsher punishments for breaking the law.

rightsaidthread Sun 16-Nov-14 17:52:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sesamstrasse Sun 16-Nov-14 17:53:06

I don't agree. I was a sensible driver at that age and me and my friends were able to do lots of things because we drove and it would have left us unable to otherwise, often with 5 of us in a car, I don't think whether you have 5 people in a car or 2 makes a difference to someone who's going to not drive sensibly to be honest.
I don't see why everyone has to be punished because some young people are idiots. I know the families and children involved in the accidents are punished, but I don't think it is fair to make that sort of blanket ban. 21 is far far too old to be the youngest age for people learning to drive. Around where I live you cannot rely on public transport, it is very expensive, how would they get to work? i actually think if kids have more to do (sometimes the only way to facilitate it is by car travel) it keeps them out of trouble generally. Similarly why should parents / others have to be relied upon for transport when they are effectively adults.

17-21 year olds aren't all stupid. Similarly 21+ aren't all sensible.

There should be tougher laws on those who speed or break the law within those years, licence should be revoked for a few years if they do break any of those laws. I do think there should be minimum amount of road experience / driving lessons before able to take a test though.

HighwayDragon Sun 16-Nov-14 17:55:23

This is an awful thing to happen but sorry you are bu.They can join the army, vote, work, leave home, get married, have children, but they cant drive with passengers under 21?

ghostyslovesheep Sun 16-Nov-14 17:56:37

while I don't totally think YABU - hasn't a 21 year old in a different car been charged with dangerous driving why blame the teens in the car?

I am guessing an inquest will reveal if they where negligent but we can't know so using this story to illustrate your point is unfair on the dead driver who may have not been at fault

DeeCayed Sun 16-Nov-14 17:57:15

Personally no, I don't think they should be limited to one other passenger under 21 or banned from driving between certain hours. How would that work with teens who work night shift?

I have a 14 year old ds who wants to learn to drive as soon as he can (he's already had a driving lesson with a proper driving company) but as he plays rugby I would expect him to give team mates lifts, as the parents do now, to venues/home.

Not every teen is reckless, I certainly wasn't and neither were my friends or boyfriends and I've had no accidents in the 19 years I've been driving.

A lot of teens are parents and may need to drive for whatever reason during he night. I used to drive late at night when ds1 was having trouble sleeping.

I think that driving lesson from about 14/15 (no test until at least 17) would be more beneficial and this has been found in a study where earlier access to driving lesson are in other countries. I'll try to find the link.

Catswiththumbs Sun 16-Nov-14 17:57:23

Limiting teens driving at night just means you will have more inexperienced 20+yr olds on the roads.

Limiting passengers would be a good idea however.

ChimesAndCarols Sun 16-Nov-14 17:57:26

It was a 21 year old in another car that has been arrested for causing the accident.

Itsfab Sun 16-Nov-14 17:58:47

My near neighbour is late 30's - early 40's and drives like a twat but I get that younger people don't have the experience and think they are bullet proof so are potentially more at risk.

A lot of people don't so much forget that they are driving a potential killing machine but don't even think about it in the first place.

JulietBravoJuliet Sun 16-Nov-14 18:00:40

I think the problem with a car full of teenagers is that the driver is more likely to show off and be distracted. I was driving on Friday night, when I went for a meal with a group of friends (who were all drinking), and when driving them home, I found it very distracting to have 4 slightly inebriated, giggly, loud passengers, and I've been driving 20 years. I would imagine as a newly passed young driver, that situation is very distracting.

SmilesandPilesOfPresents Sun 16-Nov-14 18:01:00

I agree that more restrictions need to be in place like other countries. I wonder what their stats are compared to the UK's.

mypoosmellsofroses Sun 16-Nov-14 18:01:09

I think in this case there was another vehicle involved and the driver of that vehicle has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving. It may be that a more experienced driver would have been able to deal differently, but it could well have been the case that this could have happened no matter the age/experience of the driver. Agree though that there are many that are due to speeding/showing off etc, utterly tragic waste. Some kind of probationary period with restrictions after passing the test could only help.

OldLadyKnowsBeelzebub Sun 16-Nov-14 18:01:54

According to the linked report, the car the five deceased were travelling in collided with another car, whose driver sustained a broken leg. The driver of a third car, a 21yo, was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving, which caused the first two to collide. Not sure how stopping teenagers having passengers would have prevented this? Reduced the number of dead, yes.

It's not an easy one. I live rurally and every spring we have upturned cars in fields, because inexperienced drivers took a corner too fast in the dark. Most don't result in deaths, fortunately, but lots of teenagers carshare with their pals just to get from one house to another.

5ChildrenAndIt Sun 16-Nov-14 18:03:31

The point is that if you have one passenger, then the car is unlikely to get rowdy/silly the way it might with 4 mates on board. It is a lot to ask of a teen to 'manage' the behaviour of a group of their mates - as well as maintaining full concentration on the road.

My DD is only 10 - but I've already told her that she'll never been allowed into a car driven by a teenager. Statitistically - it's just not a happy picture.

cardamomginger Sun 16-Nov-14 18:05:53

Restrictions on new/young drivers would not be a bad idea. However, as a 43 year old who passed her test last month, the changes that were proposed a while back would have meant that I could not, as the sole adult in the car, drive my 4-year old daughter to school.

specialsubject Sun 16-Nov-14 18:06:05

I was also going to say that it looks as if this tragedy may not have been the fault of the teens.

but they have been know to muck about, egg on and otherwise distract an inexperienced driver. And if it does go so horribly wrong, you get a group of young friends wiped out. We all know places near us where cars full of youngsters have hit trees.

fewer in the car means fewer die at once, possibly meaning that the ones who weren't there learn the lesson.

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