In a world which is only too familiar with stories about the reckless behaviour of young drivers it still comes as a shock to learn that three in ten young people in the Yorkshire and Humberside region admit to taking part in a road race.

It is hardly surprising that road crashes are Britain's biggest killer of those aged between 15 and 24.

It is time for action to stop this terrible waste of young lives, and to protect other road users who become the innocent victims of crashes caused by speed and inexperience. There needs to be a concerted effort by the courts to throw the book at people who race on the roads, a crime which is almost as dangerous as drink-driving. Sentences must be stiffer and bans longer.

Three measures need to be seriously considered when it comes to establishing new and firmer rules for young drivers. More education about life behind a wheel is important, spread over a longer period to prevent quick young learners from passing their test in record time and taking to the road unsupervised.

It is also well worth considering the idea put forward by road-safety charity Brake of a system of graduated driver licensing with newly-qualified drivers being barred, say, from night-time driving and having limits on the number of passengers they can carry.

Add to all that Judge Jonathan Durham Hall's recent call for limits on the power of vehicles young people can drive and the potential is there - given the political will to make it possible - for reducing the terrible carnage involving young people on Britain's roads.

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