PCC to increase funding for training of young drivers

Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones felt compelled to pay for more driver training courses. EMN-191211-144202001
Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones felt compelled to pay for more driver training courses. EMN-191211-144202001

A project to help improve the motoring skills of young drivers has been extended after the initial scheme launched proved a huge success.

Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones provided funding for 50 drivers under 25 to take an advanced driving course free of charge.

But the offer attracted nearly double the number of applicants, so the PCC has agreed to invest more money to make sure no-one missed out.

The project, which has now been funded by £5,000 from the PCC’s budget, is seen as a crucial step in reducing the high casualties amongst young drivers in the county.

The courses are being delivered in partnership with IAM RoadSmart, formerly the Institute of Advanced Motorists, in Lincolnshire, and involve several weeks of training followed by a driving test.

The idea for the project came after Mr Jones undertook the Advanced Driving Course and test himself – securing the highest pass mark of a ‘First’ after nine weeks of training with a local IAM Lincolnshire volunteer observer.

“When I discovered that there were dozens of young drivers who might miss out in the training I just had to extend the scheme,” said Mr Jones.

“I simply couldn’t live with the fact that every time a young person was involved in an accident I would be wondering if they had missed out on training that might have saved them.

“If just one serious injury, or death, can be avoided then it will be worth every extra penny of investment.

“This is one of many initiatives I am pursuing to address road safety, and I will continue to seek new and innovative ways to keep our highways safe for the people of Lincolnshire.”

Across Lincolnshire in 2018 there were 512 incidents in which people were killed or seriously injured – including 56 fatal crashes. Of these, 132 involved a driver aged 24 or younger – up from 104 on the previous year.

IAM RoadSmart advanced driver courses normally cost £149 and focus on developing a range of skills including car control, observation, optimum road positioning, management of speed and the ability to identify and deal with hazards including other road users’ behaviour.

IAM RoadSmart CEO, Mike Quinton said he was pleased at the level of interest in the project and delighted the PCC had decided to extend the funding.

“I’d like to thank Mr Jones for his commitment to this project which goes far beyond our expectations,” he said.

“Getting 100 young advanced drivers on the roads is a big boost to local road safety and we hope it will make a significant difference in protecting all drivers using the roads.”