Following a successful pilot, the ‘Young Driver’ programme by Admiral Mulitcar and Seat UK is to be launched nationwide.
The organisers believe that the programme, which is designed to help teach 11-16 year-olds how to drive carefully, will significantly reduce crashes and save lives.
Young Driver teaches youngsters to drive dual-controlled cars in a safe and environment. Using 200 new SEAT Ibiza models and specially designed driving zones, the organisers say the experience has been a ‘massive hit’ with young drivers and parents. Lessons start at £29.
Young Driver operates with approved driving instructors (ADIs) and sessions are available to children over 1.5 metres (4’ 11”) tall, between the ages of 11 and 16. The scheme is offered in 30 or 60-minute lessons during weekends and school holidays.
After the first lesson, participants are given a Drive Diary filled in by their instructor. This allows pupils, parents and instructors to chart individual progress and focus on new skills.
Piloted at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre three months ago, more than 1,000 under 17s have already been through the scheme.
The Young Driver programme will launch later this month at Bluewater in Greenhithe, Kent (21 February) and Wembley City, London (27 February). Further venues are also set to open in Glasgow and Manchester in the spring.
The motoring journalist, Quentin Willson, a supporter of the scheme, says: "I’ve just put my 11 year-old son on the programme and I’ve never seen him concentrate so hard. This is a road safety revolution in the making."
Charlotte Bennett, Admiral MultiCar marketing director, added: "We are confident Young Driver will make a huge difference to accident rates among new drivers and are proud to see the project going national."