Opinion: Is 17 the right age to drive?

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The figures we reveal today about the number of under-18s caught by police for driving offences in South Yorkshire are eye-opening.

They also lead to a discussion on a wider issue about what should be the age you are allowed to have a full driving licence?

* Read more: Children as young as 12 caught driving in South Yorkshire

Brake, the road safety charity, points out road crashes are still the biggest killer of young people in the UK.

Also, less than one in 12 drivers are under-25, yet one in five fatal and serious injury crashes involve a driver of this age.

It’s common sense that the more experience you have with driving the better you should become.

Everyone has to start somewhere, so maybe it is a lack of experience, rather than age, that skews these figures somewhat.

However, is 17 really a sensible age to hand someone the keys to a potentially lethal machine?

Of course, many teenagers are sensible, careful drivers and others – two or three times their age – are dangerous and reckless.

Would raising the driving age to, say, 21 years old make that much of a difference to young people’s lives?

Should it stay at 17, with more stringent testing, or even leap to 25?

It is a debate worth having.