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TEENAGE DRIVERS PRAISE ACTION TO CUT ROAD CASUALTIES

21/07/2014

Teenage drivers have praised a free driving awareness session delivered by UK road safety education leader, the TTC Group, on behalf of Avon and Somerset Police.

Students from Bath and North East Somerset took part in the special police-led course to help reduce their risks on the road. Around 80 pupils from Chew Valley School have attended the Road Smart driving awareness sessions over the past three months.

Sixth formers said they were pleased to have attended the “eye opening” session which would make them better drivers.

Road Smart, produced by the TTC Group, is an Avon and Somerset Police initiative to raise awareness of potential hazards and to help reduce road deaths and casualties.

More than 1,000 people of all ages have signed up for the free driver awareness training.

Sergeant Will Stephens said: “It’s crucial that as many people as possible attend these free road safety awareness sessions.  In just one year in Avon and Somerset, 452 people were killed or seriously injured on our roads and one third of these were young people. If the course saves just one life, then it’s all worthwhile.

“These free sessions are available all over the force area for individual members of the public, of all ages. We can also arrange for courses to be held at schools, colleges or places of work to reach larger groups.”

The series of events held at Chew Valley school is part of a collaboration between Bath and North East Somerset Council and Avon and Somerset Police to promote road safety for young drivers aged 17-24.

Due to inexperience and peer pressure, newly qualified drivers are at their most vulnerable in their first year of driving with 17-24 year old drivers over represented in casualty figures. The Road Smart initiative complements the council’s ‘Wrecked West’ risk avoidance classes to provide young drivers and passengers with knowledge to help them safely negotiate their formative driving years.

Bath and North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, Councillor Caroline Roberts, said: “Bath and North East Somerset has an excellent road safety record but tragically young drivers continue to feature in our casualty statistics. I would commend all secondary schools and further education colleges to adopt the package of Road Smart and Wrecked West to give our young people the best possible start to their driving careers and to reduce the casualties and deaths on our roads.”

Mr Andy Arbuckle, Head of Sixth Form Chew Valley School, said: “When we heard from Avon and Somerset Police about the Road Smart scheme we were really keen to get involved and invited them in to run their sessions in school. This is the fourth workshop we’ve run this year and all students have found them very helpful. Young drivers are a really vulnerable group on the roads and the more we can do to educate them about road safety the better.

“Another excellent scheme is the Wrecked West road safety presentations and we are working closely with the Bath and North East Somerset road safety team to make sure that our students benefit from this as well.”

The TTC Group, a national provider of road safety education, are delivering the courses on behalf of Avon and Somerset police. TTC Group director Alan Prosser said: "The TTC Group is delighted to work closely with staff and students at Chew Valley School to deliver these innovative workshops for young drivers.

"They have been well received and focus on the most common causes of collisions for younger, inexperienced drivers. They support our aim to reduce road deaths and injuries across the UK with our wide variety of education courses for motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians."

“It was really eye-opening. It made you realise just how important the speed limits are,” said sixth-former Lydia Lanning (17).

Georgia Hunt (17) said the course was “really helpful” to see how much damage can be caused by just a small increase in speed. 

“It’s made me think about my driving much more. I’m going to be much more aware of other drivers and pedestrians,” said Ben Grant.

“Really pleased to have done the course. It’s important that I keep trying to improve as a driver,” said Nick Manville, also (17).

For more information about the campaign visit www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/roadsmart and to book a place go to www.roadsmart.org

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