Almost a third of young London drivers pressured into driving faster by friends

16 April 2009
"If you really value your driving licence, don't risk it by driving recklessly"

If you really value your driving licence, don't risk it by driving recklessly

New research from Transport for London* has revealed the extent to which young drivers, particularly males, are affected by peer pressure while at the wheel.

The findings are released in support of a campaign, run by TfL and the London Safety Camera Partnership, which urges young drivers (17 to 25-year-olds) to consider the consequences of illegal driving.

According to the research, 31 per cent admitted that friends had urged them to 'put their foot down', a finding more common among young men (46 per cent) than young women (15 per cent).

Peer pressure

In total, one in three males (32 per cent) and one in five females (20 per cent) have risked their licences by speeding in order to impress passengers or onlookers.

This is despite the findings that a third of young drivers claimed that they would not be able to maintain their current lifestyle, including their job, if they lost their driving licence.

Young drivers account for just eight per cent of all drivers in the Capital, but are involved in 18 per cent of all collisions.

In London in 2007, there were 878 speed-related collisions involving young drivers. Fourteen of these collisions resulted in a fatality.

Driving represents freedom

Chris Lines, Head of the London Road Safety Unit at TfL, said: 'What's really clear from this research is the extent to which many young Londoners value their driving licence.

'For many people, being able to drive a car represents freedom, independence, self-reliance and fun.

'However, many people risk losing their licence by speeding to impress friends.

'The message we're putting out with this campaign is simple: if you really value your driving licence, don't risk it by driving recklessly.' 
 
Summary of the research findings:

Young male drivers

Young female drivers

70 per cent say that a car is important to their day-to-day lifestyle   66 per cent say that a car is important to their day-to-day lifestyle
42 per cent could not maintain their current lifestyle (including job) if they lost their licence

23 per cent could not maintain their current lifestyle (including job) if they lost their licence

96 per cent think they generally drive in a responsible manner  91 per cent think they generally drive in a responsible manner
46 per cent have been urged to drive faster by passengers  15 per cent have been urged to drive faster by passengers
32 per cent have actually driven faster in order to impress passengers or onlookers  20 per cent have actually driven faster in order to impress passengers or onlookers

The Young Drivers road safety campaign is a joint initiative between TfL's Road Safety Unit and London Safety Camera Partnership.

Just a kid again

It carries the message that anyone speeding, drug driving or driving without insurance risks losing their licence and the freedom that goes with it, effectively making them 'just a kid again'.

The campaign includes adverts in cinemas, radio and online as well as posters throughout the Capital.


Notes to editors:

* Research conducted by Synovate on behalf of TfL between 5 and 15 January 2009. 307 participants took part. All were London residents aged between 17 and 25.

To see the cinema advert, please visit: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/corporate/media/newscentre/real-life.shtml

London Safety Camera Partnership

The London Safety Camera Partnership consists of the following organisations: TfL, Metropolitan Police Service, City of London Police, Her Majesty's Courts Service and London Councils. It exists to achieve three goals:

  • Reduce death and serious injury caused by speeding and red light running in London
  • Raise awareness about the dangers and consequences of speeding and red light running
  • Meet the Government and the Mayor's 2010 targets for casualty reduction

To achieve these aims the Partnership operates a combination of fixed speed, mobile speed and red light camera sites across London.