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Limits on drivers may save lives

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Putting restrictions on young drivers could save as many as 200 lives and result in 1,700 fewer serious injuries each year, according to researchers at Cardiff University.

A study showed that Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) for motorists in the 17-19 age group would help to cut down on road accidents, reducing the number of car insurance claims.

The scheme would ban drivers who have just passed their tests from driving at night, drinking alcohol and carrying passengers of a similar age. Similar schemes already exist in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and parts of the US.

For the study, the experts reviewed road accident data in the UK from 2000 to 2007. The findings were presented at an international road safety conference in London.

They found one in five new drivers crashes within six months of passing their driving test. The scheme may help to prevent many accidents as well as reduce costs to the NHS.

Study leader, Dr Sarah Jones said: "GDL works in other countries and there's no good reason why it wouldn't work here."

© Press Association 2010