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Coroner calls for crackdown on new drivers

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 10, 2012

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A coroner has called for a lower speed limit for new drivers and compulsory ‘P’ plates after a teenager died in a speeding car driven by her boyfriend.

Coroner Michael Rose says youngsters who have just passed their driving test should be made to have the special plates – which are currently only optional.

He also says new drivers should also be restricted to speeds of 50mph or 60mph when travelling on 60/70mph roads, for a period of a year.

Mr Rose, coroner for West Somerset, made his recommendation after an inquest into the death of Bethany-Paige Adams, 17.

She was a passenger in a car driven by boyfriend Charlie Blanford-Corp, 18, who had only passed his driving test two-and-a half months earlier.

Blandford-Corp, of Minehead, was driving a Citroen Saxo car at speeds of up to 80mph on the A358 when he struck a tree near Crowcombe on January 7.

He had previously told Bethany’s mother that he would “drive carefully” – but the teenager was killed instantly.

Mr Rose has now issued a statement calling for the Government to introduce a lower speed limit for new drivers.

He also says people who have just passed their test should be made to put a green ‘P’ plate on their car to let other drivers know they are inexperienced.

The coroner says if new drivers fail to adhere to the new laws, they should have their licences revoked.

‘‘Coroners are now specifically charged with the task of preventing further fatalities. I stated I was mindful to request the Secretary of State for Transport to make it obligatory for new drivers to display a single letter such as A or P at the rear of their vehicle, nor to exceed a speed of 50/60mph whilst on roads where 60/70 mph is the maximum permitted for 12 months.”

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