Driver Alertness course: Zoe McNamee


A scheme by Police Scotland run by the TTC Group to educate drivers involved in minor road crashes has been praised by a motorist asked to attend the course.

The National Driver Alertness Course, run by the UK road safety education organisation, was introduced in Scotland in 2013.

Since then, almost 1,000 motorists have attended courses in Aberdeen and Ayr, Dundee and Dumfries, and Glasgow, West Lothian and Dunfermline.

Zoe McNamee, 27, wrote off her Kia car when it was hit by a van when she pulled out of a road junction.

“It was my fault. I had other things on my mind and I pulled out of the junction,” said Zoe, a Livingstone store manager, of Shawlands, Glasgow.

“I found the course really good and more beneficial to me than paying a fine. There were lots of scenarios, tips and advice to help raise your awareness and build your confidence.

“It was a good split of both classroom and on the road. You don’t realise how you can switch off sometimes when driving a car and you are in a vehicle which can cause serious damage. It was a very good course.”

Lorraine McKinnon, 56, of Bothwell, Glasgow, also attended the course. The property developer, who had her first road accident in 30 years, said: “I was a bit apprehensive about going on the course but it was very good."

TTC Group trainer Ian Purdie, from Kilmarnock, who runs the on-road course in Glasgow, central and south west Scotland, said: “We meet every type of driver from the newly-qualified to those who have been driving for half a century or more.

“People are encouraged to relax and enjoy the course. They leave with an improved knowledge and learn how to avoid a future accident.”

"There was 'a universal misunderstanding' of what gap to leave the car in front with many believing it is 2 car lengths instead of 2 seconds.

“Clients often comment on how they don’t look far enough ahead and anticipate events developing further down the road. They are encouraged to recognise that by giving themselves more space and time to think and react, incidents can be avoided,” he added.

The Driver Alertness Scheme is offered to motorists involved in road incidents after driving without due care and attention. Motorists undergo 4 hours of theory and 3-and-a-half hours of practical on-road tuition from Approved Driving Instructors.

A total of 200 people were killed on Scotland’s roads in 2014 and 1,694 were seriously injured, including 171 children. With 11,240 total casualties, there are an average of 6 child deaths each year, a reduction of 61% compared with figures from 2004 to 2008.