Bereaved mother calls for law change for newly-qualified drivers after daughter killed in car crash

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In a powerful video interview, mum says her daughter could still be alive if a new law preventing newly-qualified drivers from carrying passengers had been in place.

In the emotive clip, Sharron Huddleston recalls how her 18-year-old child was killed in a crash which, she argues, could have been avoided. Her daughter, Caitlin, had been in the car with a friend, who had only recently passed her driving test, when the driver lost control of the vehicle on a bend in the road, on the A595 in Cumbria. Mrs Huddleston said: “The car spun off into a van that was travelling in the opposite direction, and Caitlin took the full impact of the collision into the front passenger door and was killed on impact.” Her friend also died in the tragic accident, in 2017.

This week, the AA backed the group’s call for Graduated Driving Licences, as part of its 2024 motoring manifesto, which states that there should be ‘no peer passengers for six months once they have passed their test” - similar to schemes in America, New Zealand and Sweden.

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Edmund King OBE, AA President said: “What we are saying is for the first six months or so we should limit the number of passengers young drivers have so they can gain experience rather than crashing early on and costing lives.”

He added: “What we find with young drivers is every extra passenger that is in the car, it increases the chances of crashing by four times. Passengers in the car may be rowdy, they might not have their seatbelts on, they may encourage the driver to speed. All of these elements actually add to the risk.”

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