Road Safety News

York’s young drivers gather ‘Momentum’

Thursday 16th August 2012

City of York Council has joined forces with the IAM to offer young drivers a free assessment to improve their confidence and awareness on the roads.

Up to 300 drivers aged between 17-26, who live or work in York, could benefit from the York Momentum scheme over the next two years. The course usually costs £40 per person, but will be funded through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

The IAM’s Momentum assessment is specially designed for 17-26 year olds who have passed their basic driving test, and incorporates two modules: an interactive online assessment, followed by an on-road session with an IAM examiner.

Momentum does not involve an exam and there is no risk of failure; it is designed to provide an option for young drivers wishing to improve their confidence, awareness and safety.

Trish Hirst, City of York Council road safety officer, said: “None of us quite expected the reaction the scheme has received. It has been a fantastic first few days with the team sending out more than a 100 application forms. Young drivers in York seem extremely keen to take up this opportunity and we are delighted by the response to the scheme.”

Simon Best, IAM chief executive, said: “This initiative is a good example of the way councils can work in partnership with voluntary organisations to provide services that are increasingly more difficult to provide amidst budget cuts York council recognises the importance of safe driving and the safety of young drivers.”

For further information about Momentum contact Laura Martin, IAM market development manager.


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Idris, my apologies. It seems I have misunderstood. I am glad you approve of these courses. Training is far better than punishment in my view, for certain misdemeanours, and here in Durham we put great effort into providing training for as many road user groups as we can. Unfortunately, many drivers believe they do not need further training despite being offered free or subsidised training. They only get exposed to training after they have been involved in a crash, have been caught speeding, or have broken road traffic law in some other way. It is then that the reality kicks in and they realise how poor their driving actually is. So it seems the best way to get road users, particularly drivers, into a training environment is to detect their errors using cameras and/or Police Traffic Officers and give them a choice.
Alan Kennedy

Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

In response to Alan, many more diffident drivers who arguably most need courses might hesitate to aspire to qualify with the IAM as an "advanced" driver, and even if aged 17-24, less than confident that they would get their money back.

What I had in mind was more like £60 which covers the costs of the current Awareness Courses - excluding police profits recently added to the fee - that without tests or connotations of "advanced" skills might appeal, and be affordable, to more drivers.

In respect of Dave's comment, I can only say that if I were aware of "loads" of such courses being readily available, I would not have thought it necessary to make the suggestion in the first place. Perhaps advertising them might help?
Idris Francis

Agree (1) | Disagree (2)

From observation over many years of those giving driving instruction to learners I believe that if young drivers were instructed how to DRIVE a vehicle (contol) and not how to steer one they wouldn't require additional training courses. A far better idea would be to construct driving parks whereby they could be given instruction in vehicle control. I instructed my two how to DRIVE and they passed first time and went straight into towns and cities with no problem and I feel safe at all times when with them. (I had over 20 years in HGV vehicle repair and maintenence and have also had over 50 in driving.) Attitude and peer pressure also plays a bit part in many RTCs.
REMEMAN Derbyshire

Agree (3) | Disagree (0)

Anyone can go on a course to improve their driving at anytime, there's loads to choose from. However most people don't think they need to until something happens - like getting flashed by a speed or red light camera.
Dave, Leeds

Agree (3) | Disagree (1)

Well done York. For three years we too have engaged in a partnership with the local IAM group.

Anyone between 17 and 24 who enrols for the IAM's Skills For Life driving course pays the current fee of £139, and then passes the test drive and achieves the IAM's advanced status, we repay their £139 to them. My belief is that this is money well invested in making that individual a much more able and safer driver. It has proved to be a very attractive proposition with a respectable level of take up from the target group of drivers, far more than previously attended the IAM from that age bracket.
Alan Hale - South Gloucestershire Council Road Safety Team

Agree (2) | Disagree (0)

Alan, sorry but you have misunderstood - and so, it seems, have others - 14 Dislikes must be a new record!

In fact my comment approved of these courses and made no reference to them being run for profit.

Instead I suggested that if courses are effective, why not offer them to all-comers, not just to speeders? No need then for fees to be as high as £90 to generate the profits I referred to (typically £30 per head, £700,000 per Force) to pay for the cameras to catch the punters!

On the subject of these profits, does anyone else realise that this must be the first and only time in the 200 year history of our police that they have had a direct financial interest in imposing as many penalties as possible? Is that acceptable in a supposedly democratic society? I think not.
Idris Francis

Agree (5) | Disagree (3)

Idris, these courses are not about profit. There is no 'profit'. They are designed to help young drivers have a better understanding of risk and the wider issues they will come across when driving. The first 18 months to 2 years of a young person's driving career is the most difficult time for them, and when most involvement in collisions occurs. These courses are extremely valuable in helping them form the right attitudes and behaviours before they become 'set in their ways' and become difficult to influence. Post test training is vital and something that the Government should be looking at seriously. Once again, well done York.
Alan Kennedy

Agree (14) | Disagree (0)

Makes me wonder why the authorities think it necessary to recruit drivers for driver awareness courses by flashing speed cameras at them! Why not simply advertise courses for all-comers, at half the price as no profits are needed to fund the cameras?

Volunteer audiences are more likely to be interested and appreciative than conscripts too!
Idris Francis

Agree (4) | Disagree (17)

Well Done Folks! I know how difficult it is to engage with young drivers. It seems you have got the right combination, and with funding too. Well done again.
Alan Kennedy, Chairman Road Safety GB

Agree (12) | Disagree (2)

Well done Trish, Kathryn & all involved, good to see young drivers engaging with a local authority and the IAM.
Dave. Leeds

Agree (9) | Disagree (0)