Young Driver – provider of under-17 driving lessons – has branched out in an effort to get more youngsters behind the wheel, by launching a new driver training programme in schools.
Motors.co.uk recently went and sampled the Young Driver scheme at one of its 30 training centres. We were left impressed by the professionalism of the staff and the friendly atmosphere. Certainly the 13-year-old we enrolled hasn’t stopped talking about it since…
Now, children can get experience of driving without leaving the safety of the school gates, with lessons being conducted on site. Alternatively, schools can opt to take pupils to one of Young Driver’s test centres, which are located on private ground well away from other traffic.
The programme also incorporates computer-based road safety training, for a rounded approach to driver education.
Lessons are priced at under £10 per pupil, and for that they will get 20 minutes in a dual-control car in the hands of a fully qualified driving instructor. Within the confines of a coned-out road course, they will learn all the basics of car control: clutch biting-point, manoeuvring, braking and reversing.
Kim Stanton, director of Young Driver, said: "There is widespread acceptance that the way we teach young people to drive in this country is inadequate, evidenced by the fact that one in five crash in their first six months on the road.
“Learning to drive is no different to learning a language or a musical instrument – you learn better at an earlier age. We have already delivered over 100,000 lessons to under 17s and our research shows that learning to drive at school age halves the likelihood of accidents and saves lives. This is backed up by research which is taking place across the world. The demand is there from schools, youngsters and parents – that our roads are a safer place is a priority for us all – so it makes sense to bring this into the educational environment."
As well as proving a hit with the schools that have signed up, the course has the backing of the Institute of Advanced Motorists. Its Chief Executive, Simon Best, said: "There needs to be a lifelong learning approach to driving that starts at school and continues through experience and coaching into the higher risk early days of solo driving. The more experience of driving that young people get the safer they will be in the long run.”
Picture: Daljinder Nagra