YOUNG DRIVERS. Where can youngsters aged 11 - 16 learn to drive safely?
It has been proved beyond any doubt that if youngsters are taught to drive properly between the ages of 11 and 16, they become better more responsible and much safer drivers than if they don't start driving until the more impressionable ages of 17-19.
Two major initiatives in the UK now allow them to do this, at modest cost, and progress from merely being able to make a car go safely to developing high levels of driving skills, including skid control, before they reach the age when they can legally drive on the road. It has been extensively proven throughout Europe that the earlier youngsters are properly taught to drive safely, the safer drivers they will be. Young Driver schemes aim to teach them to drive safely at ages before contemporary influence and bravado can tept them into danger.
More at: www.mbdrivingacademy.co.uk Mercedes A Class and B Class cars, manual and automatic. Session prices start at £40 for 30 minutes.
YoungDriver EU is another scheme using SEAT Ibiza 1.2 cars. Session prices start at £29, supported by SEAT UK and running as a national roadshow at various locations off pubic roads. More at: www.youngdriver.eu
'Mini Drivers @ Goodwood’ is a third youth driver training programme, using the Goodwood circuit as its dedicated base, with fleet of brand new Mini One models fitted with dual controls to teach young drivers the essential skills of safe driving and considerate road craft.
Started August 2010 with a series of three introductory experiences priced at £99 each. Young people complete these modules in dual-control Mini One models. Gift vouchers will also be available for the Goodwood training so that parents, grandparents, guardians and friends can treat their significant young loved ones life-long safe and secure driving skills. Any child reaching a minimum height of 1:5m (4ft 9”) can participate, up to the age of 18.
For all Mini Drivers bookings and more information, please contact the Goodwood Motor Circuit Mini Driver hotline:
And: Under 17 Car Club (www.under17-carclub.co.uk)
The club has people from all walks of life, and almost as many girls as boys. It's not just for petrolheads. At the annual charity event at Castle Combe, youngsters were driving a gorgeous 1963 E-type, an Aston Martin Vantage, "original" Fiat 500 and all manner of other toys from Porsches down to a Series 1 LandRover. It's a serious club, advising government on novice drivers etc.
The Transport Research laboratory at Crowthorne, Berks, also allows young drivers to use its facilities in conjunction with local driving schools such as the Blue School of Motoring based in Berkshire and Surrey, TRL tel: 0800 234 6823. These events are usually held on a Saturday afternoon.
'Staircase' of driving lessons for under 17s at the 3 Sisters track in the North West between Manchester and Liverpool, at Donington Park, and at Rockingham Motor Speedway at Corby, Northants. More at Racing Juniors
Yet another is run by Worcester Advanced Motorists. Go to www.worcsgam.org.uk and click on 'Under 17s'. This has been going for 27 years.
Nicola Hyland has been running a Young Driver Scheme in Essex for 6 years at Earls Colne Business Park. By August 2011 1,655 youngsters have benefited from the scheme, which is supported by Chelmsford Group of Advanced Motorists, Essex Police, and the Essex Fire Brigade. All details are on the website www.youngdriverscheme.org The scheme has the use of 5 miles of private roads and caters for pupils from 15 year of age and also older persons if they want to gain some confidence, after maybe not driving for a while. The scheme operates once a month, with 45 local driving schools attending, and between 240-250 pupils on the day. It actively encourages pupils to continue driver training by going on to do the advance driving course.