A conference about young drivers will include four presentations looking at current interventions by road safety teams from across the UK.
The one-day event, “Young driver focus”, is being organised by Road Safety GB in partnership with FirstCar and held in Swindon in May 2014.
The conference will look at “cutting young driver casualties now and in the future”. As this suggests the event will be forward-focused rather than a retrospective look at young driver collisions and casualties.
The agenda is likely to comprise five sessions including one looking at current campaigns and interventions which will include four presentations.
Steve Horton, who heads up Kent’s road safety team will present “Speak Up”, which was launched in January 2012 to encourage young people – particularly teenagers travelling with young drivers – to find their voice if they think the car is being driven irresponsibly. Evaluation indicates that Speak Up achieved a 77% positive behaviour change impact among the target audience, and casualties fell during the activity period. In 2013, the campaign was awarded a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award.
Alan Kennedy, Durham’s team leader, will present “Don’t drive stupid” on behalf of Road Safety GB North East Region. This campaign was launched in November 2013 to persuade young people to stop their friends from "driving like an idiot", citing peer pressure as the key to encouraging young people to drive more sensibly.
Dave Lawson, Sheffield City Council will present “Learn Safe, Drive Safe” which was developed by Ian Edwards with the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership. The programme provides support to approved driving instructors to expand their learner driver tuition into road safety topics that they often find difficult to engage with. Currently the programme is running, under different names, in South Yorkshire, Merseyside, Somerset, Sussex and Lewisham. It will be rolled out in five more areas in the coming months and as such is probably the largest project of its type in the UK.
Finally Natalie Oakley, from the Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership, will look at young driver behaviour in Gloucestershire. The partnership is conducting a programme of awareness and behavioural change among young drivers in the county which began with a survey among local young drivers. A further phase of research will be followed by a campaign/intervention that will be developed by the partnership in conjunction with students from Gloucestershire College, which is scheduled for launch in March 2013. The presentation will cover the key elements of the research and the intervention that will be developed on the back of the findings.
Young driver focus will be held at The Arval Centre in Swindon (just off the M4) on Wednesday 14 May 2014, 10.00am – 3.30pm.
The event is FOC for Academy members and the delegate fee for other public sector attendees is just £35 plus VAT. The fee for delegates from the private sector is £100 plus VAT. However, the venue can only accommodate a maximum of 100 delegates and the event is almost fully subscribed.