Radical proposals to reduce the 1200 young drivers killed or seriously injured on Britain's roads last year have been announced by a new coalition of insurance companies, road safety groups and motoring organisations.

The ABI (Association of British Insurers) proposals, backed by the RAC Foundation and the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety focus on instruction, passenger numbers and night driving.

The first proposal is that there be a minimum learning period before young drivers are allowed to take their driving test, and that structured learning programmes for under-17s be more widely adopted. A more structured learning programme, with learners or their instructor recording in a logbook time spent driving and experience before taking their test should also be instituted, argued the ABI.

Measures should also be adopted that reduce the number of passengers carried by young drivers. This could include limiting the number of passengers during the first few months of driving. California has instigated a similar programme and results there suggest casualty rates could be cut dramatically.

The group has also endorsed insurance policies that limit the amount of nighttime motoring for young drivers. More than half of accidents involving young drivers occur at night.