Road Safety News

Young driver schemes recognised with awards

Wednesday 26th April 2017

A host of road safety initiatives have been recognised at the 2017 First Car Young Driver Awards ceremony which took place this afternoon (26 April).

Now in its third year, the awards' scheme recognises the efforts of road safety professionals to reduce casualties among young drivers.

Held as part of the 2017 Young Driver Focus event, the awards were presented in five categories: Best Education and Training Initiative; Partnership Scheme; Young Driver Campaign; New Scheme; and Private Sector Initiative.

The winners were decided by a carefully selected panel of judges with extensive industry experience. For all awards the judges looked for schemes with clear and measurable aims and objectives and for evidence of evaluation. 

Gold, silver and bronze awards are awarded in each category, with the exception of Private Sector Initiative which has seen two schemes highly commended.

The 2017 awards were sponsored by Road Safety Support (RSS) and presented by James Evans, founder of FirstCar, and Mereddyd Hughes, chairman of RSS. 

Education and Training Initiative

Gold: RoadSmart - TTC Group (UK)
In April 2014, in conjunction with Avon & Somerset Constabulary, TTC launched the ‘RoadSmart’ young driver programme which incorporates recognised behavioural change techniques.

RoadSmart was introduced following an extensive programme of research looking at behavioural causation factors, and has demonstrated a positive effect on young drivers’ intentions.

The scheme has replicability, is transferable and has undergone an evaluation and review process.

  • Silver: Learn2Live Road Safety Intervention - Learn2Live Partnership (South West Peninsula)
  • Bronze: Drive for Life Challenge - South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership

New Scheme

Gold: Your Choice - Northamptonshire Highways
Your Choice is a low cost workshop-style intervention, designed to influence and change behaviour. The scheme sets out to help young road users to understand human limitations, recognise their responsibilities as road users and equip them with coping strategies.

It offers an alternative to the ‘shock tactics’ approach used widely by police and fire services, which rely heavily on the ‘fatal four’ as the causation of collisions. Instead, Your Choice challenges students to formulate their own solutions to the dangers they face as road users.

  • Silver: #mysmallchange - Safer Essex Roads Partnership
  • Bronze: Operation Dragoon - Northumbria Police 

Partnership Scheme

Gold: VF4 360 - Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service
Created to improve an already robust and evaluated intervention, the VF4-360 Experience represents a ‘quantum leap’ in road safety delivery. Using virtual reality goggles and a specially produced film, participants are immersed in a pre and post-crash scenario.

This project demonstrates how new technology can be used to engage and influence the attitudes and behaviours of young people. Lead by Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service in conjunction with FirstCar, this project ‘pushes the boundaries on innovation’ while delivering cost-efficient scalability.

  • Silver: Safe Drive Stay Alive (SDSA) - Surrey
  • Bronze - Learn2Live Road Safety Intervention - Learn2Live Partnership (South West Peninsula)

Young Driver Campaign

Gold: #mysmallchange - Safer Essex Roads Partnership
#mysmallchange facilitates the public sharing of personal pledges, pertaining to one of ten specific road behaviours via the web-app.

The pledge is instantly shared on the pledgers’ social media account, creating a peer-to-peer commitment of improved road user behaviour. In the following days, weeks and months, participants receive targeted and timely advice on maintaining their pledge.

  • Silver: Look Out For Each Other (LOFEO) - Gateshead Council
  • Bronze: Gone in Seconds - MIB (Motor Insurers’ Bureau)

Private Sector Initiative

Highly commended: accelerate Safer Young Driver Training Programme - accelerate Driver Training
Evolving and developed over seven years, the accelerate Safer Young Driver Training programme seeks to develop practical driving skills to the highest level, and to address the human factors involved in driving.

Highly commended: New Driver NI Safe Motoring Presentation - New Driver Safety Ambassadors Limited Community Interest Company
New Driver Safety Ambassadors was set up in July 2016 to promote safe motoring to young people in Northern Ireland between the ages of 16-24 years.

The company works in close partnership with schools, colleges and the wider community to encourage young people and adults to raise their aspirations and make a positive contribution to their development in road safety by encouraging better driving, influencing passengers’ behaviour and peer mentoring younger people.




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One wonders how effective all this feverish (all be it well meant) activity really is - and whether any of it would be necessary if government would play its part and introduce GDL - which is known to be effective.
Andrew Fraser, Stirling

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