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Pendle MP: Make Jack Straw Transport Secretary
AN EAST Lancashire MP has called for Jack Straw to be made Transport Secretary so the Blackburn MP can kickstart a government crackdown on young drivers.
Pendle MP Gordon Prentice said he had ‘no doubt’ that if Labour colleague Mr Straw held the post, the aims of the Lancashire Telegraph’s Wasted Lives campaign would be implemented.
But a spokesman for Mr Straw, the Justice Secretary, said: “Ministerial posts are a matter for the Prime Minister.”
Wasted Lives is aimed at cutting the carnage of young drivers on our roads through a series of measures such as the introduction of graduated licences.
It also proposes a raft of measures for newly-qualified motorists including limited driving in the evenings, limits to carrying young passengers and limits on driving powerful vehicles.
However, the Government has now stepped back from the introduction of graduated licences.
Mr Prentice has been spearheading the Wasted Lives cause in parliament.
In July, Mr Prentice led a Commons debate on road safety in which he told the Transport Minister he was making a ‘big mistake’ and that he should listen to the Lancashire Telegraph if he wanted to save lives.
Mr Prentice, who has just been named Parliamentarian of the Month by road safety charity Brake for his campaigning, said: “All my Parliamentary colleagues in East Lancashire, including Justice Secretary Jack Straw, are signed up to the Lancashire Telegraph's Wasted Lives campaign, which regularly throws a spotlight on the terrible carnage on our roads.
“The campaign calls for graduated licences as one part of the solution.
"I have no doubt that if Jack were Transport Secretary we would see a change in policy.
“The problem is almost exclusively with young men. Some of them drive as if they are immortal, and they are not.
“The Government has, unfortunately, ignored comp-elling evidence and rejected calls for graduated licences for new drivers.”