YOUNG drivers in York have been urged to take part in a free driving safety scheme.

The appeal comes following figures, reported yesterday, that 14 per cent of all road casualties in North Yorkshire are hurt or killed in crashes involving drivers aged 17 to 19, despite this age group making up just 1.5 per cent of licensed drivers.

City of York Council's Momentum scheme, with the Institute of Advanced motoring, offers young drivers a free assessment to improve their confidence and awareness on York's roads, and was launched in 2012, when a number of young First Bus drivers took part in the scheme.

Yesterday, The Press told how road safety experts the Transport Research Laboratory suggested the number of casualties could be reduced from about 380 casualties a year, if graduated driving licensing was introduced, with restrictions on newly-qualified young drivers limiting night-time driving.

Cllr David Levene, cabinet member for transport, said: “Statistics show young people are at the highest risk of being killed or seriously injured on the UK’s roads, whether as drivers or passengers of other young drivers.

"They’re also three times more likely to have an accident whilst driving to work. This is why City of York Council is working in partnership with the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), to save lives by providing our young drivers with more advanced knowledge and invaluable experience on our roads."

IAM chief executive Simon Best said the scheme showed the authority recognised "the importance of safe driving and the safety of young drivers".

He said: “This initiative is a good example of the way councils can work in partnership with voluntary organisations to provide services that are increasingly more difficult to provide amidst budget cuts."

The Momentum scheme is open to drivers between the ages of 17 and 26, with a full licence and access to a fully insured car. For more details about the course go to or email