Young motorists driven to speed by loud music

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The Independent Online
Most young British drivers are encouraged to drive fast and take risks by the presence of passengers, loud music or high spirits, a survey has revealed.

Although drivers under 25 were aware of the situations influencing their driving, 65 per cent said they did not care about traffic regulations or being fined.

The Europe-wide survey, which was released yesterday, showed that 1,300 young people were killed and 125,000 injured on Britain's roads last year - three-quarters of all road accidents, even though young drivers represent only 10 per cent of licence holders. A total of 83 per cent drive fast because of loud music or high spirits.

To combat the problem, the RAC and Auto Express have announced a joint Campaign Against Rage.

RAC campaigns manager, Richard Woods, said: "The aim of this joint campaign is to help drive confrontation off Britain's roads.

"The law can be improved to prevent re-offence but motorists must play their own part in rejecting rage in the first place. Individual motorists may not be able to change another driver's behaviour but they can certainly change their own."

Campaigners hope they can encourage people, particularly the young, to steer clear of aggression when driving and opt for old-fashioned courtesy.

The RAC has also joined forces with Ford and the European Road Safety Federation in the Say Yes to Safer Driving Campaign. Champion rally driver Gwyndaf Evans and Labour's road safety spokeswoman, Glenda Jackson, are lending their support.

The campaign also hopes to put pressure on the authorities to improve driver education in schools and to give more powers to the courts to fine or imprison people convicted of aggressive driving. They also want the courts given powers to force convicted drivers to attend rehabilitation classes before their licences are returned.

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