CAMPAIGNERS accused the Government of ‘missing an opportunity’ over their ‘gutless’ crackdown on young drivers.

The Wasted Lives campaign, which aimed to end the carnage of on the roads, received the support of thousands of people, including the family of Matthew Hannon.

Matthew, 22, died in January 2006 when he crashed his car while racing a friend in Livesey Branch Road, Blackburn.

His parents Terry and Ann have backed our campaign from the outset believing it would help prevent other families experiencing what they did.

Terry Hannon said he was extremely disappointed by the Government’s announcement.

He said: “Bringing in changes to the way young people learn to drive was so important but this feels like a real missed opportunity.

“The biggest problem is that young people can pass their test with no experience and go out and buy a car which is far too powerful for them to handle.

“The number of hours a driver has completed on the road should be set before they are allowed to pass their test to allow them to build up experience.

“Young drivers must be banned from driving powerful cars. Matthew was killed driving a powerful car because he was not experienced enough to handle it.”

Greg Pope, MP for Hyndburn and Haslingden, a supporter of the Telegraph campaign, said the Government had a ‘level of caution’ in the desire to crack down on young drivers.

He said: “To do something about the carnage on our roads requires brave action but I have to say these recommendations are gutless.

“They haven’t listened fully. This is a missed opportunity.

“A lot of people would have preferred more drastic action.

“Other groups of people like the Transport Select Committee made recommendations that were very much in line with it.

“This year there will be grieving parents because more people will be killed on the roads.

“In politics you have to take tough decisions that are right, and it’s very disappointing they have not done this.”

Labour MP Louise Ellman, chairman of the House of Commons Transport Committee, welcomed the report but added “more must be done to reduce the carnage among novice drivers.”