Learner drivers in Warwickshire are set to be given an early education in road safety as part of their driving lessons, thanks to funding from the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Philip Seccombe.
The Honest Truth has secured £77,660 from the Commissioner’s Road Safety Fund to provide the targeted road safety initiative to learner drivers, ensuring they understand the risks the road can present and how to be a safe driver from the very outset of their motoring lives.
The information will be delivered in collaboration with Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs), who will use unique but simple and striking visuals to deliver the safety messages to their pupils during their driving lessons.
Each year, over 825,000 people in the UK pass their driving test and join the highest risk road user group – newly qualified young drivers.
Although many new drivers are still in further or higher education, reaching and engaging with this vulnerable group in effective road safety education is a challenge. The main ‘touch-point’ for all but a few new drivers are ADIs. Learners and ADIs spend around 40 hours together during the process of learning to drive. Typically, lessons are two hours and undertaken weekly; during this time learners often develop a strong bond with their instructor and reach out to them for information and advice on things like choosing a first car and buying insurance.
Statistical evidence shows that the majority of collisions involving new and young drivers which result in death or serious injury aren’t as a result of poor driving skill. In other words, the mirror-signal-manoeuvre technical skills taught by ADIs and required to pass a driving test aren’t so much of an issue as the lack of decision-making skills and understanding of the dangers faced by new drivers. The Honest Truth campaign aims to address this and help to make young drivers aware of the risks when they start to drive alone.
Additionally, an outdoor campaign focussing on risky driving behaviours of drink driving and using a mobile phone will be seen across Warwickshire area during the winter period.
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “I want to make sure that we get important road safety messages out to a wide variety of vulnerable road users in order to help change the way people view their use of the roads, helping them make better, less-risky decisions. By equipping approved driving instructors with some simple but effective road safety messages that they can incorporate into driving lessons, I think the Honest Truth Project can help make a real difference. It will help keep our new drivers safer when they do finally pass their test and gain their independence.
“Ultimately, I hope this will help to reduce the numbers of people being killed or seriously injured on our roads in Warwickshire, one of the key aims of my Police and Crime Plan, so I am delighted to be able to support this scheme.”
Annette Lloyd, Head of The Honest Truth said, ‘We are delighted to have been awarded funding to deliver our road safety project to young drivers and look forward to working with driving instructors, alongside the police, fire service and local authority across the county to boost the messages about road safety. We are fully supportive of the range of projects supported by the Commissioner to reduce the number of those killed and seriously injured on the roads and absolutely delighted to be able bring The Honest Truth campaign to Warwickshire for the first time.”