Tighter restrictions on newly qualified drivers would prevent 15 people being killed or seriously injured every year in Sussex.
That’s according to new research which argues stricter controls on young drivers would mean 122 fewer road accident injuries in the county.
The report is part of a bid from road safety campaigners calling for the introduction of graduated driving licensing (GDL) to limit the risks posed by and to young drivers.
Restrictions considered under GDL schemes include a minimum learner period and a lower permitted alcohol limit for new drivers.
Superintendent Jane Derrick of Sussex Police said she would support changes to the law that could be proven to help reduce the number of people killed or injured on the roads.
She added: “One in every eight people injured on the roads in Sussex are hurt in a collision involving a young driver. That does not necessarily mean the young drivers were the cause of the collision, they may just have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“It also has to be said that young drivers are not all poor drivers compared to other motorists but it is true that they are less experienced on the roads and that means that they may not anticipate how other motorists will behave and could be involved in accidents that more experienced drivers could avoid.
“Young drivers would inevitably feel that they are being punished for having committed no crime if they were suddenly placed under new restrictions that prevented them using the roads at certain times of the day but ultimately if that would keep them and other drivers safer then I would support it.”
The county would be among the biggest beneficiaries both in terms of road death reductions and financially – with tighter controls saving an estimated £6.6 million every year.
The research has been carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory in a report commissioned by the RAC Foundation and based on police crash data over five years between 2008 and 2012.
More than one in eight accidents resulting in death or injury in Sussex involve a driver aged between 17 and 19 years old, which is marginally above the national average.