• York Rotary

Safer Young Drivers

David McAuley reports... Our last speaker of 2020 (December 18th) was Ian Goring from the U17 Car Club ‘Pathfinder Initiative’, who gave an enthusiastic talk about teaching young adults aged between 15-17 years of age how to drive a car during an intensive 5 day course. We are fortunate that the courses in the North East of England are held in Yorkshire 4 times a year at two alternative venues, the old airfield at Driffield and the Tockwith Motor Sports Centre.

The courses do not just teach the students how to drive, they also teach them life skills in road safety and the critical factors in road collisions: fatigue; speed; drink/drug driving; poor concentration; driver distractions (electronic devices within the vehicle and passenger peer pressure). Learners also learn about the essential POWDERY daily/weekly checks to be carried out on the vehicle.

As well learning driving skills the students also undertake a daily online Highway Code assessment, which progressively gets harder each day. As well as learning how to drive smoothly through the gears and steering skills, students also learn reversing skills (left and right hand reverse parking into bays, reversing 100-200 metres zig-zagging between cones at various distances and reverse parallel parking.

The cost of the courses are £370 per student (p.s), sponsorship has been made available for courses at Driffield by Safer Roads Humber, which has reduced the cost to £185 p.s. However, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police (neither of whom have attended the courses), have declined to give funding owing to low death numbers on North Yorkshire roads (2018 = 361, 2019 = 335). As Tockwith is just in N/Yorkshire, Ian is in talks with West Yorkshire Police PCC and Chief Constable in the hope of securing funding.

Photo taken from the video shown by Ian

Ian also showed a video outlining some of the activities undertaken, the video included testimonials from the Gloucestershire and West Mercia PCCs, students and their parents.

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