Transport Minister Derek Mackay has agreed to press the UK Government on piloting a graduated driver licensing scheme in Scotland.

Road safety campaigners say the scheme, which already operates in other countries, is a vital, life-saving policy which would help to address the risks associated with new and young drivers.

Labour MSP David Stewart called on Mr Mackay to seek an urgent meeting with UK Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to discuss piloting the scheme.

He raised the issue at Holyrood ahead of the publication of official road casualty statistics for 2014 next month.

Mr Stewart said figures indicate that road deaths have increased by seven from 2013-2014, with a rise in the number of pedestrians and motorcyclists killed.

"Will the minister seek an urgent meeting with Patrick McLoughlin, the Secretary of State for Transport, and support my bid for Scotland to pilot the graduated scheme within the UK," he asked.

Road safety charity Brake recommends that a UK graduated licence scheme should require a minimum learning period of one year, and two years as a "novice driver", where certain restrictions would be in place such as a ban on motorway driving.

Mr Mackay said: "I would be happy to continue our efforts with the UK Government to promote the scheme, and I will be more than happy to pilot it in Scotland."

"If the Labour Party want to assist us on that with others, then I will happily take a cross-party approach and more than happy to try and progress this once again."