P-Plates could make new drivers think

Southend Standard: Eleanor McGrath Eleanor McGrath

THE parents of a teenager killed in a horrific car accident have taken their road safety campaign to the corridors of power.

The parents of Eleanor McGrath, 14, who was killed when a car hit her and a group of 13 friends in Thorpe Bay in 2009, visited Whitehall to call for graduated driving licences to be introduced in the UK.

James Duddridge, Rochford and Southend East MP, who accompanied the couple to the Department for Transport, made an impassioned plea for the licence system, which would see new drivers forced to display a green P-plate for three years, in Parliament last week.

The Conservative, who lives a few hundred yards from the crash site in Tyrone Road, said: “When people suffer such tragedies, they sometimes react by expecting absolutely everything to be done, but Eleanor’s parents have been very responsible.

“Specifically, they believe in the graduated driving licence, that a compulsory P-plate should be displayed for three years after someone passes their test, signalling a probation period for new drivers.”

Mr Duddridge and the McGraths presented a green P-plate, which alerts other motorists to a newly-qualified driver in a similar way to an L-plate warns of a learner, to Robert Goodwill, Under- Secretary of State for Transport, last month.

Mr Duddridge added: “People who have just passed their driving test can feel on top of the world, invincible, and it is a little less macho to have a big P on the back of their one-litre banger or on a new car.

“I hope that a P-plate might change attitudes.”

In a joint statement to the Echo, the McGraths said: “We are extremely grateful to James Duddridge for the support he has given us, for enabling us to meet with the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department of Transport and for articulating our proposals in Parliament.”

Jazzily Bass, 26, was told to prepare for the worst after her brother, Murray Bass, was involved in a crash in 2009 aged 21. He came out of his coma, but now needs 24-hour care.

She says any idea is worth trying, but thinks introducing P-plates won’t have much of an impact on drivers.

Jazzily, from Wickford, said: “I think instead of P-plates, new drivers should have restrictions on the speed and power of the car they are allowed to buy.

“New drivers lack experience and don’t know how to control faster cars.

“My brother’s accident was with a boy racer car early in the morning. If the driver had had a P-plate on, it wouldn’t have made any difference.”

Comments (8)

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10:17am Wed 5 Feb 14

Jack222 says...

P plates are an excellent idea and have been in Australia for many decades. It just tells us other drivers that the person with the P plate may not be experienced so give them a bit more space. And P plate drivers have a stricter alcohol limit and speed limit...
P plates are an excellent idea and have been in Australia for many decades. It just tells us other drivers that the person with the P plate may not be experienced so give them a bit more space. And P plate drivers have a stricter alcohol limit and speed limit... Jack222
  • Score: 6

10:44am Wed 5 Feb 14

Sagefields says...

Jazzily Bass.... is that a real name or ironic in some way? I wonder if her daughter is called classically cello
Jazzily Bass.... is that a real name or ironic in some way? I wonder if her daughter is called classically cello Sagefields
  • Score: 2

11:36am Wed 5 Feb 14

Alekhine says...

I'm with the restrictions on the speed and power of cars available to be bought by newly qualified drivers. A graduated license has been with motorcycles for some time. If you pass the test on a 125 you can't go out and buy a Z1000.
I'm with the restrictions on the speed and power of cars available to be bought by newly qualified drivers. A graduated license has been with motorcycles for some time. If you pass the test on a 125 you can't go out and buy a Z1000. Alekhine
  • Score: 4

2:34pm Wed 5 Feb 14

You'dfeelbetterforknowingthat says...

Alekhine wrote:
I'm with the restrictions on the speed and power of cars available to be bought by newly qualified drivers. A graduated license has been with motorcycles for some time. If you pass the test on a 125 you can't go out and buy a Z1000.
We are not talking about bikes, they cause misery for us all, and need to be banned
[quote][p][bold]Alekhine[/bold] wrote: I'm with the restrictions on the speed and power of cars available to be bought by newly qualified drivers. A graduated license has been with motorcycles for some time. If you pass the test on a 125 you can't go out and buy a Z1000.[/p][/quote]We are not talking about bikes, they cause misery for us all, and need to be banned You'dfeelbetterforknowingthat
  • Score: -6

2:41pm Wed 5 Feb 14

ThisYear says...

More licences...more money for those private companies masquerading as government departments who live of licences and more bureaucracy...to what result?
More licences...more money for those private companies masquerading as government departments who live of licences and more bureaucracy...to what result? ThisYear
  • Score: -3

2:47pm Wed 5 Feb 14

I-say-you-say says...

Jack222 wrote:
P plates are an excellent idea and have been in Australia for many decades. It just tells us other drivers that the person with the P plate may not be experienced so give them a bit more space. And P plate drivers have a stricter alcohol limit and speed limit...
They also let the less "honourable" drivers know that the person driving is an easy target!

I was always told never to put P Plates on my car as it was well known that they were "aimed for" and due to inexperience usually got the blame for everything and just accepted it!

I was invoved in an accident when I was a lot younger and because I was a young female in a fiesta, the guy assumed I was only 3rd party, hadn't been driving long and tried to sue me privately! He actually admitted this to my insurance company. Luckily I had been driving longer than he assumed and was fully comp insured.

Whilst my deepest condolences and sympathies go to the McGrath family, I agree with Ms Bass that P Plates would not change the way they drive.
[quote][p][bold]Jack222[/bold] wrote: P plates are an excellent idea and have been in Australia for many decades. It just tells us other drivers that the person with the P plate may not be experienced so give them a bit more space. And P plate drivers have a stricter alcohol limit and speed limit...[/p][/quote]They also let the less "honourable" drivers know that the person driving is an easy target! I was always told never to put P Plates on my car as it was well known that they were "aimed for" and due to inexperience usually got the blame for everything and just accepted it! I was invoved in an accident when I was a lot younger and because I was a young female in a fiesta, the guy assumed I was only 3rd party, hadn't been driving long and tried to sue me privately! He actually admitted this to my insurance company. Luckily I had been driving longer than he assumed and was fully comp insured. Whilst my deepest condolences and sympathies go to the McGrath family, I agree with Ms Bass that P Plates would not change the way they drive. I-say-you-say
  • Score: 4

3:16pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Alekhine says...

You'dfeelbetterforkn
owingthat
wrote:
Alekhine wrote: I'm with the restrictions on the speed and power of cars available to be bought by newly qualified drivers. A graduated license has been with motorcycles for some time. If you pass the test on a 125 you can't go out and buy a Z1000.
We are not talking about bikes, they cause misery for us all, and need to be banned
So pass your test in a fiat Punto and get a Veyron then. While you are resting your elbow in traffic, I'll be going past you on the bike.

As we are, much to my displeasure, still in the EU, the Italians will need to support any measure banning bikes. The day they that happens, hell will freeze over.

Rgds
[quote][p][bold]You'dfeelbetterforkn owingthat[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Alekhine[/bold] wrote: I'm with the restrictions on the speed and power of cars available to be bought by newly qualified drivers. A graduated license has been with motorcycles for some time. If you pass the test on a 125 you can't go out and buy a Z1000.[/p][/quote]We are not talking about bikes, they cause misery for us all, and need to be banned[/p][/quote]So pass your test in a fiat Punto and get a Veyron then. While you are resting your elbow in traffic, I'll be going past you on the bike. As we are, much to my displeasure, still in the EU, the Italians will need to support any measure banning bikes. The day they that happens, hell will freeze over. Rgds Alekhine
  • Score: -2

4:20pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Keptquiettillnow says...

Anyone with points on their licence should having to display it on their car would be good.
Most of these luantic drivers are serial offenders hiding behind the innocent till guilty.
Name and shame em.
Anyone with points on their licence should having to display it on their car would be good. Most of these luantic drivers are serial offenders hiding behind the innocent till guilty. Name and shame em. Keptquiettillnow
  • Score: 2

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