Motorists who attend speed awareness courses after being caught speeding are helping to pay for road safety education for the next generation of young drivers.
The TTC Group, which educates more than 300,000 motorists, cyclists, fleet and van drivers nationwide, joined the innovative WiseDrive – Drive for Life event in Durham organised by the County Durham and Darlington Road Safety Partnership to teach more than 2,000 15 and 16-year-olds about road safety.
Teenagers, who will soon be behind the wheel of a car, learn about how speed, distractions, not wearing a seatbelt, drink and drugs – dubbed “the fatal 4” – lead to a tragically high number of young deaths on the road. Road death is the main cause for young people aged 16 to 24 dying in the UK.
Durham Chief Constable Mike Barton said that speeding motorists were paying for the WiseDrive scheme, which aims to cut the accident rate among young drivers.
"This event is being funded by speeding motorists who have attended speed awareness courses to help reduce the accidents.”
One in five young drivers were involved in accidents in their first year of driving, he revealed at the start of the three week WiseDrive event held at The Work Place, Aycliffe Industrial Park, Newton Aycliffe, Durham.
The TTC Group, which runs speed awareness courses nationwide, is delivering courses at the event on the hazards of speeding.
Youngsters are able to test their reaction times on a driving simulator. They have also teamed up with Young Driver to sponsor 30 driving lessons for teenagers who get the best daily brake reaction times. Qualified advanced driving instructors teach 11 to 17-year-olds how to drive before their 17th birthday to give them more experience before taking to the road for the first time.
“WiseDrive is an important initiative aimed at improving road safety among young drivers who are too often involved in road traffic collisions,” said Ian Bint, a former Chief Inspector in charge of roads policing, now Regional Manager for the TTC Group.
“I am delighted the County Durham and Darlington Road Safety Partnership has asked us to help deliver road safety education. This free to attend event is a real opportunity for young drivers to learn about some of the main risks faced by road users and develop a safe driving approach.
”We are always happy to support such initiatives which contribute to safer roads.”
TTC Group trainers include local JP Bill Carlyon, David Allen, a former roads policing sergeant, Ian Bint, an ex Chief Inspector involved in roads policing, along with Phil Knight, Young Driver Manager for the North East and John Hamilton.
Delivered by County Durham and Darlington Road Safety Partnership with support from Durham Agency Against Crime, the multi agency award winning WiseDrive 2014 event runs until October 27. It has educated more than 12,000 students since it began in 2001.
A UK leader in road safety education, the TTC Group run a variety of “diversionary” road safety education courses in nine police force regions.