A programme aimed at increasing the safety of 16 to 20-year-olds by changing their attitudes to driving has been recognised with a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award (PMIRSA).
The Derby and Derbyshire Road Safety Partnership’s* Young Driver Education Programme (YDEP) – which was founded in 2007 and has been fully evaluated by RoSPA – involves delivering workshops through schools.
On average, 1,600 students from 36 of Derbyshire’s 45 secondary schools and colleges take part each year, with a record 2,350 students participating in 2015.
Issues covered during the workshops include speed, drink and drug driving, aggressive driving and distractions which affect driving. Emergency service personnel also talk about their experiences of dealing with the after-effects of collisions.
In Derbyshire, before the initiative began in 2007, there were 635 reported injuries and 10 deaths among young drivers. By 2014 this had fallen to 331 injuries and one death. Latest figures reported in the partnership’s 2016 annual report show that the number of young car drivers killed or seriously injured fell from 37 in 2014 to 24 in 2015.
Established in 1987 and managed by RoadSafe, the Prince Michael Awards recognise outstanding road safety achievement and innovation worldwide.
Councillor Dean Collins, Derbyshire County Council, said: This award is testament to the ongoing commitment over a number of years of our staff and colleagues in the police and fire service to encourage young people to adopt safe driving practices for life.
"While one accident is one too many, it is clear that the downward trend over many decades in the number of casualties is down to a range of initiatives, including education programmes like these, for which we have proudly been acknowledged at the highest level."
*The Derby and Derbyshire Road Safety Partnership comprises Derbyshire County Council, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service and Derbyshire Constabulary.