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Fuelling insurance costs
Young drivers are facing huge insurance costs in Ryedale – as well across the country – and the reason is all too easy to find.
Having ripped up their L-plates on passing a test, most new motorists behind a wheel are sane and sensible, a significant minority are neither.
Walking past Asda in Norton , I watched as a younger driver accelerated at full throttle and hurtled across the busy car park.
All it would have taken is for a toddler to run out at the wrong moment and it would have been one life lost and another blighted.
Outside our house, a young motorist shot out of St Nicholas Street car park at such speed he lost control of the car.
Hearing the bang as he hit the door of a parked car, I rushed outside to find my teenage daughter on the Tarmac and her friend knocked down.
Her friend’s dad ran after the vehicle, which only stopped at a junction some way up the road. He grabbed the driver ready to introduce him to police on the scene within minutes.
Luckily, very luckily, the injuries caused in the accident were no worse than bad bruising, and the dad’s broken rib, but it was too close for comfort.
Within weeks a driver in the middle of the day came out of the same car park at full throttle, before managing to stop just before ramming a queue of traffic.
He objected when I knocked on the window of his shiny new red car to have a word with him – I objected to him driving down our street like a maniac.
Have you noticed a pattern here? Every time it’s been a young male driver. More than a quarter of young men aged 17-19 are involved in a road collision within the first year of passing their test.
High accident rates are fuelling surging insurance costs and will only reduce as more young drivers decide to be responsible rather than reckless.
While I’m trying to appeal to the pocket here there is a much greater price being paid than in massive insurance premiums.
Years of reductions in road deaths brought about by safety belts, tougher drink driving law, and better car design, have now been thrown into reverse.
More people are being killed on our roads and road accidents are the biggest killer among young people.
A driver who killed someone in his car as a teenager described the real cost. It wasn’t being jailed that really hurt – it is waking up every day of his life knowing what he’s done.
At the other end of the age scale an uncle of mine, who had been king of the road, a lorry driver all his working life, bought a powerful new car in old age.
“You want it pal, you have it pal,” my auntie said to him, and it’s not how it sounds, pal being what she affectionately called him all the time.
So he did have it, and I watched in horror as his crown slipped and he left my sister’s house, crunching through the gears before mounting a pavement.
He died not that long after, before he managed to kill anyone.
And before anyone sets about me with a walking stick, I’m happy to admit there are many first rate older drivers.
I’ll admit it as long as we can also agree that there are some who regard it as their God given right to put others risk come what may.
It takes courage to accept it’s time to hand in your licence, not everyone knows when that moment has come.
And I’m by no means attempting to lay all the blame at the accelerator pedal of the young or old, it’s something in which we all have a share.