Young Drivers Targeted with Education Programme

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Young Drivers Targeted with Education Programme

Posted: 19/01/2007 16:27:33

Road Safety Officers from Cornwall County Council are helping to prepare the next generation of drivers at Community School through their highly successful Young Driver Education Programme.

The programme, which is in its ninth year, aims to educate young drivers through a series of workshops, helping to inform and influence them about how to drive safely on the county's roads.

Young Drivers in the 17-21 age group represent fewer than 10% of licence holders and have lower than average mileage yet are involved in around 20% of all road traffic collisions involving injury. Research indicates that one in five young drivers had a collision in the first year after passing their driving test.

In Cornwall in 2005 there were 2078 reported collisions involving personal injury. 45 people were killed and 2852 injured. In 2005 there were 11 fatal, 47 serious and 532 slight driver/ rider casualties aged between 16 and 24.

Stewart King, Road Safety Project Co-ordinator said "The Young Driver Education Programme has been running for nine years and has proved to be an extremely successful way of putting important messages across to new inexperienced young drivers. We aim to inform and educate young drivers about the hazards that they will face on the road and about ways in which they can make themselves safer."

"Most 17 year olds have a desire to drive and many receive a provisional licence and a course of driving lessons on their birthday. Unfortunately nobody tells them how vulnerable they are or how many young people have collisions, some of which are fatal. We hope that by attending the programme that they learn some important messages that could help to save their lives or that of a passenger."

The Road Safety Unit works in partnership with agencies such as the Police and Fire Brigade to run the Young Driver Education Programme in schools and colleges throughout Cornwall. The hard hitting programme consists of activity based workshops, incorporating a mixture of videos, problem solving exercises, practical demonstrations and discussions to inform and educate.

The workshops involve staff from various agencies, including the Cornwall County Council Road Safety Unit, Trading Standards, Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, Driving Standards Agency and Cornwall County Fire Brigade.

Videos are used to demonstrate how inexperienced drivers need longer than experienced drivers to recognise hazards and respond to them. The Police will be discussing issues including that of peer pressure on young drivers, ranging from risk taking to speeding. Simulated alcohol breath tests illustrate how easy is it to be over the limit, whilst also raising student awareness of the possibility of still being over the limit the morning after. The students are also given the opportunity through role play, to discover the pitfalls of buying and insuring a car.


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