Shock figures show young drivers make up more than half of drink and drug arrests (From St Helens Star)
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Shock figures show young drivers make up more than half of drink and drug arrests
11:57am Friday 19th October 2012 in News
MORE than 50 per cent of people arrested for drink and drugs motoring offences are young drivers.
Now a new project aims to steer novice drivers through that difficult patch after passing their test.
The first few months after passingcan be the most crucial for novices when a host of factors can affect standards of driving, including distraction, influence of others, fatigue, speed, drink and drugs, medication and wearing seatbelts.
Now a new project has been set up to ensure newly-qualified drivers are supported with help and advice in the weeks after passing their driving test.
ENGAGE is a training programme for approved driving instructors to enable them to prepare novice drivers for that important period after their test when they are vulnerable as new drivers.
It is funded through Merseyside Road Safety Partnership and is a collaboration between Merseyside Police, Merseyside local authority road safety teams and driving instructors.
St Helens Council is promoting the scheme here.
Councillor Richard McCauley said: “The initiative aims to deliver a high standard of driving tuition to novice drivers across Merseyside through the instructors.
“One hundred driving instructors have received specialist training to deliver learner-centred coaching to better equip novice drivers with skills to identify and deal with hazards on the roads.
“This is to reduce the number of collisions which take place with new drivers – one in five are involved in a collision in their first six months of driving.
“Among the topics to be covered in the scheme are fatigue, speed, drink and drugs, medication and seatbelts.
“Between 2009 and 2011 21 per cent of drink drive arrests were those in the 17 to 25 age group, and 55 per cent of those arrested for drink or drug driving were young drivers.”
In addition to in-car discussions between the instructor and student, learners will complete exercises between lessons and attend an evening workshop with their parents to reinforce their learning and highlight the potential dangers faced by new drivers.
It also places an expectation on parents and guardians of young drivers to involve themselves in the process.
This scheme, with the involvement of driving instructors and parents, is a significant step towards improving driver education and as a result seeing safer roads in Merseyside.
Liverpool Football Club is holding sessions at its Academy for its young players to encourage them to take up safer driving and reduce injuries.
Driving instructors wishing to enrol should contact Gill Roberts, senior road safety officer, on 01744 673233, and drivers should log on to engagelearnerdrivers.co.uk.