New project targets young road users

New project targets young road users

Reducing the dangers facing younger road users is the focus of a new ETSC project, known as YEARS, which was launched at an event in Brussels in October.

The project, in partnership with technical universities across Europe, will work with students to develop projects in their local area aimed at improving the safety of young road users.  The project also aims to encourage policymakers to develop road safety policies that specifically target this group.

Divera Twisk, an expert from the SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research in The Netherlands, set the scene at the launch event with a presentation outlining the key developmental and behavioural issues affecting young people on the roads.  Dr. Twisk said that young drivers need 100,000km (6 years) of driving experience before their abilities match those of experienced drivers.

The point was reinforced by The Swiss Council for Accident Prevention, an ETSC member, who called in September for young drivers to get at least 3000km (roughly 100 hours) of experience on the road before taking their driving test.

The organisation cites research showing that novices have 3-4 times higher risk of being involved in a collision than experienced drivers.

The call came at the start of a new campaign, which includes two videos encouraging young drivers to keep practicing their skills in different driving environments.

The YEARS project receives financial support from the European Commission, the German Road Safety Council (DVR) and the Belgian Road Safety Institute.

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