A TOP cop has pledged to continue the work of his predecessor in cutting the carnage caused by young drivers on the county's roads.

Personal experience has led Chief Supt Andy Rhodes, the new commander of Lancashire Police's Eastern Division, to back the Lancashire Telegraph's Wasted Lives campaign.

The Telegraph is calling for legal and educational reform to the young driver training programme to reduce the number of accidents caused by those under the age of 25.

The campaign was strongly supported by former divisional commander David Mallaby, who had said that police enforcement of the tougher restrictions for young drivers being called for were 'do-able.' Mr Rhodes, who took over from Mr Mallaby at the start of April, has vowed to carry on the police's commitment to the campaign.

He said: "I have two children who drive, aged 19 and 21. One of them was involved in a car accident and it was a horrible feeling getting that phone call telling you about it.

"I have also had to knock on a few doors and have told parents that their children have died as a result of someone's dangerous driving and I have picked up a few people from serious road traffic scenes."

He added: "I do a lot of road cycling and the speed of some of the young people in souped up cars is absolutely terrifying. Members of the public want to see something done about this.

"It is good to see a news paper taking up such a campaign and I give it my full support."

A delayed government consultation on learner driver training - including the possibility of raising the driving age to 18 - is due to start this month.

The Wasted Lives campaign is calling for the driving age to be raised, along with the introduction of a graduated license system and passenger restrictions for those under the age of 25.

It is also calls for readily available advice for parents and school children on the dangers of irresponsible behaviour behind the wheel.

In February the Lancashire Partnership for Road safety, in connection with the telegraph, released the Wasted Lives - Missing Matthew educational DVD, which is now being used as a teaching resource by schools and driving instructors.