Course to cut young driver deaths

Press release | May 2017

TTC Group has won a national award for its innovative training programme aimed at reducing the tragically high number of young driver deaths and injuries.

The road safety organisation, which educates 330,000 each year, was commended for its RoadSmart young driver programme created especially for police.

The course was shortlisted in three categories in the 2017 FirstCar Young Driver Road Safety Awards and scooped first prize in the Education and Training Initiative.

“The fact that the course, which is free for all young drivers to attend, has been recognised nationally is proof of its success and demonstrates the importance of investing in educational programmes,” said Sharon Kostanjsek, Road Safety Support Unit manager for Avon and Somerset Police.

Educating road users was “equally important” in preventing incidents on our roads and reducing the number of killed and seriously injured, she said.

“While enforcement is essential in detecting those who break the law and endanger the lives of others, it is only one aspect of our approach.”

TTC praised Avon and Somerset Police for their proactive efforts to cut the “appalling tragedy” of road casualties which involve a third of 17 to 24-year-olds being killed or seriously injured.

The police contacted TTC for help in devising a special programme to target young drivers after 452 people died or were seriously injured on Avon and Somerset roads in 2012, a third of them young people.

“RoadSmart is an excellent example of how effective team work can be used to reduce the risks associated with younger, inexperienced drivers,” said TTC.

Sharon added: “We know that young drivers are significantly more likely to have a collision within the first 12 months of passing their test and so we wanted to provide a course which would further highlight the dangers and risks they face on the roads.

“Working with the TTC Group, we developed a course which offers 6,000 young drivers a year the tools to identify a potential situation or hazard and how to avoid it in the safest way possible.”

Improving safety for all road users was “very much” one of the Constabulary’s and Police and Crime Commissioner’s priorities, she added.

TTC runs road safety courses on behalf of police and councils across the UK to reduce road deaths and injuries.

A record number of entries were received for the awards scheme which recognises the efforts of road safety professionals to reduce casualties among young drivers.

Launched in 2014, RoadSmart has been praised by young drivers who attend the free two hour course which raises awareness of road hazards and aims to change driving behaviour.