Road Safety News

Leicestershire teens offered pre-driving courses

Tuesday 3rd March 2015

Leicestershire’s road safety team is offering Year 11/12 students aged 16/17 years the opportunity to take part in a pre-driver day for those who are interested in learning to drive.

The course includes a variety of workshops highlighting issues relevant to young and inexperienced drivers. The sessions include an introduction to driving, issues relating to speed and impairment, and a practical off road driving session at the Mallory Park track, accompanied by a qualified driving instructor in a dual controlled car.

Last year 400 young people took part in the sessions, and for 2015 there are 10 courses planned between 30 March and 22 October.

Councillor Peter Osborne, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “These courses play an important role in preparing and educating young people about safer driving.

“The sessions provide teenagers with better understanding and knowledge ahead of their first driving lessons on public roads.”


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Looks to me you have support for your input and I wouldn't disagree. Many believe that our system is flawed and that it needs a re think. I wonder how many driving instructors would agree or disagree with that. They instruct to the standard required of a pupil's ability in order to pass a safety driving test. That includes an appreciation of danger assessment.

What seems necessary, particularly following the debate we had on follow up training for country roads, at night and motorways, is further training in those areas together with more specifics on the dangers of interruptions to drivers' consciousness and concentrations. I would like to think that more space between vehicles could be included as it enables a driver to be able to give more time to consider the ever changing happenings that can confront one. Greater space enables safer driving.
Bob Craven Lancs...Space is Safe Campaigner

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A big problem is they start to learn at a very young age (4 upwards) by watching and listening to parents and other adults swear, shout and gesticulate to other drivers and by observing all the bad habits we have like resting an arm on the window, eating whilst driving etc. Perhaps they should travel in a sensory deprivation area of the vehicle. All drivers need to have good knowledge, skills and attitude to driving but sometimes we get away with 2 of the 3 and put it down to greatness in one of those areas when in fact it was someone else's knowledge, skill and attitude which avoided the incident. I don't know what the answers are but sometimes I don't know what the questions are either. KSIs with this age group will not go away until we address professional tuition only (no practice with friends), graduated licences?, restrictions on vehicle speeds etc (which will bring their own problems when on the open road with more powerful vehicles, or maybe raise the driving age which won't happen as they are voters.
Peter Westminster

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Much depends on the competence of the instructors as to whether it's a good idea to go driving at 14 years old.

Most instructors only teach the basics necessary to pass the simple driving test. That is because they have not been very well trained to be instructors and are only capable of teaching the minimum and so charge peanuts for what they deliver, and most parents are only prepared to pay peanuts for driving lessons for their teenagers, so get what they pay for. The consequences of this combination can be seen on the roads soon afterwards when those teens crash.

Agree (5) | Disagree (0)

The pre-frontal cortex is perfectly formed in young people. It has to be because it has to learn how to regulate risk taking all by itself. By the time we hit our mid 20's this gross learning phase should be complete and we can safely make the transition from student to master.

The trouble is that everybody wants people to be masters, but nobody is prepared for anybody to be students and if they can't be students they can never be masters.

There are clear evolutionary advantages to the way in which the brain matures over our lifetime and so it pays to work with these advantages rather than trying to work against them. A person that learnt to drive at age 14 will always be a far superior driver to one that learnt at 24 simply because they have learnt when the brain is best adaped to learning.
Duncan MacKillop. No surprise - No accident.

Agree (3) | Disagree (6)

But the part of the brain that regulates risk taking behaviour, attention etc. is not mature until the early 20s
Matt Staton, Cambridgeshire

Agree (10) | Disagree (1)

The optimum age for a person to start learning to drive is around 14! This is because at that age the brain is finely tuned to learning and can absorb and recall vast quantities of information on how things move in the real world. A 14 year old can become proficient at prediction and motor tasks in just a few minutes whereas an older person will take much longer and will be less able as a result.

Of course the problem is that current driver training methods are directed towards how mature adults learn and as such are totally unsuited to teaching youngsters. This is a great shame as the earlier we can teach youngsters the quicker they are to make the leap between tyro and expert. In our current system expertise takes around six months of real-world experience to gain post-test yet for a 14 year old the same level of expertise would probably take around a quarter of that to gain.
Duncan MacKillop. No surprise - No accident.

Agree (3) | Disagree (11)

Or maybe under 17 courses are obviously a bad idea - the longer that young people can get to develop suitable skills and awareness before becoming drivers, the better the chance of reducing death and injury due to inexperience and naivety by driving too young.
David S.

Agree (7) | Disagree (4)

Under 17 courses are obviously a good idea - the earlier that young drivers can develop driving skills the better the chance of reducing death and injury due to inexperience and naivety after they have passed the driving test.
Paul Biggs, Staffordshire

Agree (12) | Disagree (9)

Why encourage youngsters to learn to drive as soon as it legally possible? According to the DfT the number of tests per annum is falling. If this is in the young driver group having less on the road should statistically produce less crashes! They seem to self regulate when they want or need to learn especially those attending university.(£9000 fees-debt). If we could reduce public transport costs, increase public transport in rural areas we could reduce crashes to this age group? Yes I know too pie in the sky but risk management suggests we look at first identifying the risky action and if possible reaching the end result through a safer means. Less young drivers could help turn the trend around. Discuss.
Peter Westminster

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Can I ask if this course of instruction will emphasise the need to keep 100% attention on the road and all circumstances appertaining to it and not on the one hundred and odd other things that a driver can do whilst driving that will possibly lead to becoming another accident statistic and/or result in a fatality.

When under the guidance of an instructor it's possible that little or no mention is made of the numerous activities that a driver can engage in whilst driving that would [a] take a hand off the wheel and [b] require one's visual attention or mind to be taken off the road. After all, initially, it's the concentration with driving which is basically taught. However, if these things are not mentioned whilst in training they pupil will under normal circumstances not consider them to be the least bit dangerous and accept their usage as commonplace.
Bob Craven Lancs...Space is Safe Campaigner

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