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New Website Urges Parents To Do More To Help Learner Drivers - February 15th 2006

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    A new website designed to cut the number of crashes among the UK's novice drivers and motorcyclists has been launched by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

    The site - - aims to encourage parents to ensure that their children gain as much supervised driving or riding experience as possible during their learning period.

    One-in-five newly-qualified drivers crash within a year of passing their test, but the chances of this happening can be reduced if people have more professional and private lessons while learning.

    The website has been funded by the Department for Transport and is packed with information about private practice, professional lessons, the test, the law and where to go for help.

    Kevin Clinton, RoSPA Head of Road Safety, said: "If parents are unsure about how best to help their children who are learning to drive or ride, this website has all the answers.

    "Experience is the key to safe driving. An 18-year-old driver is more than three times as likely to be involved in an accident as a 48 year-old. We want to encourage parents to talk with instructors to ensure practice and lessons are co-ordinated. About 65 per cent of learners take private practice.

    "Increasing time behind the wheel and the variety of conditions under which this experience is amassed greatly enhance the acquisition and retention of L-driver skills. Both professional instruction and non-professional tuition have a crucial role to play in improving the learning process.

    "We hope the website will help parents to understand that their children need to gain as much supervised experienced as possible while they are learning. They also need to be encouraged to take further training after they have passed their test.

    "Frequent practice with parents or friends supports professional lessons and also helps to make young people better, safer drivers after the test. The more private practice a learner takes the more experienced they become and the less likely they are to crash.

    "The driving test is only a minimum standard and there is always room for improvement. The real danger comes after someone has passed their test. The more practice they have the more competent they will be in difficult and dangerous situations."