Driving lessons for 11-17 year-olds are to be introduced in Doncaster and Sheffield.
The groundbreaking driver training course will launch in Doncaster for the first time and re-launch in Sheffield at a new venue later this month.
The first Young Driver event in Doncaster will be held on Saturday May 30 on a specially designed course at Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium, offering anyone over the age of 11 the chance to drive a car in a safe but realistic environment.
Young Driver will also be launching for the first time at Sheffield United’s stadium, Bramall Lane, on May 31. The scheme operated at Meadowhall until summer 2014, but when space was no longer available, the search began for a new location in the city.
Shockingly, two out of ten 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 a worrying 30 per cent of people who are killed in cars every year. Four hundred people are killed in accidents involving young drivers every year in the UK.
But for those who have taken a Young Driver course, the rate of accidents in the first six months after passing their test drops by more than a half, to fewer than one in ten.
At a Young Driver session dual control cars are used and tuition is provided by highly qualified CRB-checked driving instructors.
On a specially constructed road system with traffic signs, and specific areas for practising manoeuvres, youngsters are encouraged to consider responsible driving. A personalised Drive Diary charts how they do and when the young person is ready to take to the roads at 17, their driving instructor will instantly be able to see their previous experience.
Kim Stanton from Young Driver added: “We’re delighted to be coming to Doncaster for the first time. Keepmoat Stadium will allow us to create a sizeable course for drivers to use, which means we can make it really creative and interesting, allowing youngsters to practice driving at a slightly faster speed, and master the art of changing gears. We’re also over the moon to be coming back to Sheffield! It was a shame when our previous venue was unable to accommodate us, but now we’ve found a suitable alternative at Bramall Lane, we look forward to welcoming back our young drivers, along with saying hello to some new ones.
“With 1 in 5 young people crashing within six months of passing their test, it is vital something is done to help our youngsters become safer drivers. Young Driver lessons have now been delivered to more than 200,000 11-17 year olds across the UK which will make a huge difference when it is time for that generation to take to the roads for real. 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.”
Motoring expert and presenter Quentin Willson supports Young Driver, saying: “Both my son, age 16, and daughter, age 11, have started having driving lessons with Young Driver. I think it’s vital - it’s a road safety revolution in the making.”
Driving tuition is available for disabled youngsters and Young Driver can also cater for birthday parties. Thirty or sixty minute lessons must be booked in advance. Lessons start from £34.95.
For more information, to book a lesson or to buy vouchers visit www.youngdriver.eu or call 0844 371 9010.