Statistics are just numbers and you can interpret numbers any way you want – for good, for evil or just for fun.
Apparently fewer people applied for driving licences at 17 years old. However more do at 18. Or something. Therefore one can over-interpret what is really happening.
The liberal, metropolitan, right-on view is that youngsters really don’t need to drive anymore. “What with the fact that Jocasta as a point of principle insists on being carbon-neutral and cycling absolutely everywhere. Jonty, though, takes the Tube, and the night bus is oh-so-convenient and you meet such lovely people.”
Yes, that’s fine in NW3. For the rest of us in the sticks – where we openly point in wonder at buses because there is no discernable service – you have to drive.