In the second of a series of features looking at the 2018 FirstCar Young Driver Road Safety Awards’ winners, we profile Cambs Drive iQ – developed by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Road Safety Partnership.
Now in its fourth year and held annually as part of the Young Driver Focus conference, the FirstCar Young Driver Road Safety Awards recognise the efforts of road safety professionals to reduce casualties among young drivers.
At the 2018 awards’ ceremony on 25 April, Cambs Drive iQ won the ‘Best Education and Training Initiative’ category and was highly commended in the ‘Best Partnership Scheme’ category.
Cambs Drive iQ was described by the judges as a ‘truly excellent programme’ which is ‘evidence based and real world orientated’.
Analysis into collisions involving 16-24 year-old drivers by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Road Safety Partnership revealed a need to ‘address hazard perception, management of risk and responsibility as a driver and passenger’, without ‘risking overconfidence’.
To combat this, the Partnership set out to implement a programme that would reach 10,000 students and help them improve their anticipation of danger and risk management, and to consider the issues of emotional response and being a responsible passenger.
Matt Staton, road safety education team leader at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Having identified from the evidence what our programme needed to achieve, we explored what was already in use across the country.
“At the same time we also spoke to school staff to understand curriculum constraints, particularly in terms of time. From these discussions it became evident that the programme also needed to be flexible to adapt to each school or college’s different constraints.
“We identified Drive iQ as an appropriate programme which could also be tailored to Cambridgeshire’s needs.”
Drive iQ is a free online education platform which puts novice and young drivers through potentially hazardous road scenarios in a virtual environment. It improves the skills often neglected by young drivers, such as anticipating danger and risk management.
Cambs Drive iQ was personalised to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area – for example, by using local roads in the hazard perception clips – thanks to funding from the region’s police and crime commissioner.
Matt Staton said: “To tackle issues relating to specific road types and routes we filmed clips locally for Cambs Drive iQ.
“A route was drawn up to include some of the roads with high numbers of collisions – featuring specific risks such as being alongside water and with high volumes of cyclists – to try and cover as many locally relevant hazards as possible in the programme.”
Approximately 120 clips were put together covering a range of local hazards that developed in the course of the filming.
Delivery is being tailored to the schools and colleges involved. After initial registration, pupils can undertake the modules as self-study, in tutor group time, or as a workshop led by the teacher or road safety professional. This flexibility is welcomed by the educational establishments.
A three-stage comparison study is being undertaken by Cranfield University as part of the programme. The first is undertaken prior to delivery; the second after 16 weeks or immediately post-completion (whichever comes first) and the third 13 weeks after the second questionnaire.
At the time of preparing the FirstCar Awards’ submission the programme was at stage one, having been delivered for approximately three months. In this time approximately 700 pupils had registered for the programme. Stage three is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
Matt Staton said: “The Cambs Drive iQ programme demonstrates an evidence-based approach to programme development, and proves that existing programmes can be utilised and enhanced to address local issues.”
Click here to read the first article of the series, in which we profiled Kent County Council’s ‘Speak Out’ campaign.