The new scheme is to try and create a safer generation of drivers.
A groundbreaking driver training course aimed at 10-17 year olds has launched in Bradford.
The first Young Driver event was held on a specially designed course- offering anyone over the age of 10 the chance to drive a car in a safe but realistic environment. Young patients from Bradford Hospital were amongst the first to try it out on launch day, thanks to the Bradford Hospitals Children’s Charity, which is the chosen charity of the Broadway Centre.
The aim of the scheme is to create a safer next generation of young drivers. Four hundred people are killed in accidents involving young drivers every year in the UK. Shockingly, one in five newly qualified drivers crash within six months of passing their test, rising to 40 per cent of 17-year old males. Only eight per cent of drivers are aged 17 – 24 and yet they account for 30 per cent of people who are killed in cars every year.
But for those who have taken an Admiral Young Driver course, the rate of accidents in that worrying first six months drops by more than a half, to fewer than one in ten. The scheme has now given almost 500,000 lessons at more than 50 venues across Britain.
During the lessons dual controlled Vauxhall Corsas are used and tuition is provided by highly qualified driving instructors. On a specially constructed road system with traffic signs, and specific areas for practising manoeuvres, youngsters are encouraged to consider responsible driving and are given time to perfect the necessary driving skills without the pressures of public roads. A personalised Drive Diary charts how they do.
Laura White, head of marketing at Young Driver, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have launched and we were particularly pleased that youngsters from the local hospital were able to come along to the first event to experience what it’s like being behind the wheel of a car for the first time.
“We have been looking for a venue around the Bradford area for some time, and the centre is perfect. It’s in a great location, making it very accessible to local people, and we’ll be able to set up an interesting course for keen young learners. With one in five young people crashing within six months of passing their test, it is vital something is done to help our youngsters become safer drivers. We believe it is important to train drivers over a longer period of time and that catching youngsters when their attitudes towards driving are still developing is the key to producing a safer driver. By starting at a younger age you can more easily focus on attitude and behaviour and you have a better chance of tackling a young person’s sense of invulnerability.”