The head of a motoring charity has called for the Government to act after a poll found that the majority of Britons support introducing curbs on newly-qualified young drivers.
Professor Stephen Glaister, the director of the RAC Foundation, said: "the issue of young driver safety is one of those matters that must be addressed."
He added: "If there were any other area of public health policy where this level of harm was taking place there would be an outcry, yet as a nation we seem to accept what is happening to many of our young people when they get behind the wheel."
Young drivers are seen as more of a hazard on the roads than the elderly, a new safety survey has found.
The RAC Foundation poll found:
83% regard young drivers being involved in road accidents as a problem
52% regard older drivers in accidents as a problem
71% agreed that politicians should give more attention to road safety
64% of parents say they would ensure their children complied with a graduated licensing system
The poll results showed that a large majority of Britons were in favour of placing curbs on newly-qualified young drivers, such as banning them from the roads late at night or limiting the number of passengers they can carry.
A big majority of people support placing driving restrictions on people aged 24 or under who have passed their test within the last year, according to a new poll.
Some 61 per cent supported a ban on them driving between midnight and 5am, while 66 per cent said they should be subject to limits over how many passengers they could carry, a poll of 2,101 adults carried out for the RAC Foundation found.
Sustrans launched its Campaign for Safer Streets today, urging parents to write to their MP to demand every child be given the right to a safe journey to school.
Sustrans chief executive Malcolm Shepherd said:
In 2012, a total of 33 children were killed and more than 1,800 were seriously injured while walking or cycling. If a whole classroom of children had been killed under other circumstances there would be public outcry.
There's a simple solution in our hands. We must urgently make our roads safer for those children already making a healthy, active school run and also to encourage those who don't feel safe enough to start walking or cycling.
More than 40% of parents of five to 11-year olds say their child has been involved in a near-miss while walking or cycling to or from school, according to a survey by transport charity Sustrans.
Road safety is more of a concern to parents than "stranger danger", the survey from sustainable transport charity Sustrans also found, with 44% classing it above a stranger walking off with their son or daughter.
Parents that were polled said that slower speeds and more dedicated walking and cycling routes and safer crossings were among the most important traffic measures that would allow their child to get to school without worry.
Traffic lights will stay red for longer to enable the UK's growing number of pensioners time to cross the road, the Telegraph reports.
Transport minister Robert Goodwill said more crossing systems will in future include sensors so that the traffic lights stay red for longer if someone is taking a long time to cross the street.
Officials are also considering plans for Transport for London for a new type of crossing that detects how many people are waiting on the pavement in order to determine how long traffic needs to be stopped for. A Government source told the Telegraph:
“It is right that we look at how we can use better technology to make crossing safer - particularly for some elderly or vulnerable pedestrians who may welcome slightly more crossing time.”