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Minimum driver learning period call

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The learning period for the driving test should not be less than a year - to reduce the high number of road casualties among young motorists - a financial services trade association has said.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) made the announcement following a commissioned-study which found that three quarters of people think a 12-month minimum learning period would be the most effective measure to reduce accidents involving young drivers.

According to the survey of 2,500 adults, most of those polled support tougher measures to reduce accidents among young drivers - a high-risk category which usually pays higher car insurance premiums.

Nick Starling, director of general insurance and health at the ABI, said: "Introducing a longer and more structured learning period may frustrate some youngsters, eager to get behind the wheel. But better this, than they become another tragic statistic."

Every day 10 young motorists or their passengers are killed or seriously injured on the roads - a figure higher than 15 years back - in contrast with the fall in the overall number of road accident casualties.

Nick Starling added: "Too many young drivers are still killed or seriously injured on our roads. A car is a potential lethal weapon, and we must provide more help to young motorists to better deal with the dangers of driving.

"A minimum one year learning period, and young driver passenger restrictions, would help ensure that today's young drivers become tomorrow's safer motorists".

© Press Association 2010