Drive smart don’t drive fast.

Over half of the UK’s young drivers are being put under pressure to drive faster by other motorists, according to a report from Co-op Insurance.

James Doyle, one of the young drivers questioned, explained. “After months of learning I was so happy to finally be able to drive by myself. What I wasn’t prepared for was the pressure I would feel from other drivers wanting me to go faster. At times I’ve even had to pull over to regain my confidence. I just wish that other drivers understood how their driving makes me feel.”

In response to the findings, Co-op Insurance has launched a nationwide pilot of a pioneering concept, the “T-plate”. A new solution, backed by road safety charity Brake and RED driving school, to help young drivers feel safer on the road.

The plate, similar in look to an ‘L’ or a ‘P’ plate will indicate to other road users that the vehicle is fitted with a black box and so that driver will be driving safely, to the speed limit and in line with the law

Charles Offord, Managing Director of Co-op Insurance said. “It’s unacceptable that so many young drivers are feeling pressured by others on the roads. Ultimately, every driver should be adhering to speed limits and driving in line with the law, but we know that isn’t always the case. Instead of being role-models, too many older drivers are exacerbating what is already a testing time for new and less-experienced road users. Drivers with black boxes will see their insurance premiums increase, or in some extreme cases, their policies cancelled if they don’t drive as they should.”

Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns at Brake agrees. “Young drivers’ combination of youth and inexperience makes them more likely to take risks and less likely to spot hazards – a potential lethal combination when behind the wheel.Telematics can play a vital role in nudging young drivers to drive more safely and within the law, but this needs to be aided by the behaviour of the more experienced drivers on the road.”

A version of this article appeared in the Daily Record in September 2020.

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