Learners must not drive alone - Making our roads safer

LIKE so many things in life many of us have come to regard using our roads as a right rather than a privilege that carries considerable responsibility. 

Some of us, far too many even if only a tiny minority, imagine that we can behave as we wish on our roads, that the laws designed to protect all road users do not apply to us.

Today we publish victim impact statements made by Noel Clancy and his daughter Fiona. They record, in chastening terms, how their lives changed utterly when his wife Geraldine and daughter Louise died in a car crash last December. A second car involved in the crash was driven by an unaccompanied learner driver, law student Susan Gleeson. Ms Gleeson, 21, was given a three-year suspended sentence for dangerous driving causing the deaths.

Learner drivers often drive alone and break the law while so doing. Mr Clancy has suggested that those who facilitate this illegality — car owners, parents — should be held responsible for their indifference to the law. His suggestion should be given consideration. The insurance industry must explain how drivers who are not entitled by law to drive can be insured. Surely it is impossible to get insurance to cover illegal behaviour? If this measure was enacted it might save lives and assuage some of the pain felt by the Clancy family — and the pain felt by the families and friends of the 169 people already killed on our roads this year.


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