Gordon Prentice, MP for Pendle, October 2008

october08Gordon Prentice MP has been campaigning to stop the carnage of young people on the roads. He joined the Lancashire Telegraph’s Wasted Lives campaign and has been calling on the Government to take action.

Gordon and the Lancashire Telegraph believe that the Government’s plans to tackle young driver deaths by revising testing procedures and introducing a new qualification preparing young people for driver training, do not go nearly far enough. Gordon would like to see a graduated licensing system introduced, which restricts newly qualified drivers until they prove their competence. The restrictions he is calling for include limiting driving in the evenings, limits on carrying young passengers and a ban on driving powerful vehicles.

In July, Gordon secured and took part in a debate in Westminster Hall urging the Government to introduce graduated driving licences for young drivers and criticising the Government for not following the Transport Select Committee’s guidelines on introducing graduated driving licences. Click here to read a transcript of the debate.

When Geoff Hoon took over as Transport Secretary, Gordon Prentice wrote to him reiterating the urgent need to tackle young driver deaths and urging him to support proposals for a new graduated licence scheme which Gordon describes as “a sure fire way of cutting road deaths”.

Additionally, Gordon has backed an initiative introduced by the Parish Council in his constituency which funds 10 young drivers to take the Institute of Advanced Motoring’s advanced driving test. Gordon hopes that this test will give young drivers valuable experience and prevent the risk-taking that often leads to young driver deaths.

Gordon says: “The Government has, unfortunately, ignored compelling evidence and has rejected calls for graduated licences for new drivers. All my Parliamentary colleagues in East Lancashire, including Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, are signed up to the Lancashire Telegraph’s Wasted Lives campaign which regularly throws a spotlight on the terrible carnage on our roads. The campaign calls for graduated licences as one part of the solution. I have no doubt that if Jack were Transport Secretary we would see a change in policy.”

Click on the relevant links for a factsheet on young drivers and information about Brake’s campaign for graduated driving licences. To read Brake’s response to the Transport Select Committee’s report, which recommended the introduction of graduated licences, please click here.

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