Road Safety News

Post-test course delivers anticipated outcomes

Thursday 2nd January 2014

A post-test driving course for newly qualified drivers in Buckinghamshire is delivering the “hoped for learning outcomes”, according to an evaluation of the course.

Get in Gear has been running since 2008 and more than 600 new drivers aged 17-24 years have completed the course. It was developed by Transport for Buckinghamshire with DfT partnership grant funding.

Get in Gear attempts to develop a driver’s self-evaluation skill through the use of coaching approaches based on the recommendations of the EU –funded HERMES project (2010).

The evaluation used a video based measure to assess whether participation in the course made the driver more critical of scenes shown to them. Overall, the findings of the evaluation were “positive and consistent with the hoped for learning outcomes of the course”.

June Howlett, road safety officer, said: “Recently Suffolk County Council signed up to deliver Get in Gear and we helped train and develop their instructors to deliver the course with a consistency and quality control that we feel is essential to the integrity of Get in Gear.

“With the Government’s postponement of the publication of a consultation paper on young driver safety, it is even more important that we continue to make progress where we can to raise the standard of driving among young drivers and cut the number of young driver casualties.”

Contact June Howlett on 01296 382338 for more information about Get in Gear and/or a copy of the course evaluation.


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I sat through a Get In Gear presentation and was really impressed. It tackles many of the areas which increase risk for young drivers, and allows them to tailor the coaching to the aspects of their driving they wish to address. It really is one of the better ideas to have arisen - much better than PassPlus.
David, Suffolk

Agree (6) | Disagree (0)

Thank you for your comments on the Get in Gear evaluation report.

I’m sorry the press release didn’t actually have much information on the evaluation and I have attached a link to the report which accompanied it, as this contains a lot more detail.

Kate; thank you for your questions, responses below.
a) The drivers were self-selecting
b) There wasn’t a comparison/control group
c) The monitoring was done through responses to video clips where drivers are asked to assess a drivers speed, anticipation and positioning

Thank you for your comments too, K Taylor. Although Get in Gear doesn’t attempt to change personalities, it is possible to increase someone’s awareness of their personality strengths and weaknesses in different contexts.

Please see the link to the Get in Gear Evaluation report;

The report is at the bottom of the page and if you have any further questions please do contact me - my contact details are in the main news article.
June Howlett

Agree (8) | Disagree (2)

It's not clear whether:
a) The drivers were self-selecting (i.e. potentially lower risk to begin with)
b) Was there an 'untreated' control group for comparison of effects?
c) Whether the monitoring was of self-reported attitude change, or measured behavioural change - e.g. through data-recorders showing less harsh acceleration/braking/cornering in real driving for a period more than a few weeks after the intervention. Engineering behaviour, especially among younger drivers, has to be a key road safety activity, but I worry that we're not always measuring the actual problem/outcome.
Kate Carpenter, London

Agree (12) | Disagree (1)

Learning outcomes is one thing, applying that to everyday driving over time still does not guarantee a reduction in ksi figures. You can't change people's personalities.

Agree (4) | Disagree (8)