Young driver scheme nominated for two awards

12.00 | 1 September 2017 | | 4 comments

Northamptonshire County Council’s CarKraft scheme, which has been delivered to more than 10,000 young drivers, has been shortlisted for two national road safety awards.

Delivered by Northamptonshire Highways, CarKraft gives young people the chance to experience driving in a controlled environment in a bid to enhance their driving and road safety skills.

The project has been shortlisted in the Road Safety Scheme of the Year category in the 2017 Highways Awards (formerly the Highways Magazine Excellence Awards), and the Vulnerable Road Users Safety category at the 2017 Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) Awards.

CarKraft was first introduced in 2001 in response to the number of young driver casualties occurring in Northamptonshire. The current scheme comprises ‘intensive information and skills days’ held at the Silverstone Circuit and Rockingham Motor Speedway.

Delivered in partnership with Northamptonshire Police, CarKraft offers a range of skills and training for young people including workshops with police advanced drivers, sessions focusing young drivers’ attitudes to risk, and defensive driving skills.

Cllr Ian Morris, cabinet member for transport, highways and environment, said: “I am delighted the CarKraft project has been recognised in these prestigious national awards.

“This fantastic initiative with our police partners was designed to equip young people in Northamptonshire with vital skills and training essential to drive safely and encourage the highest standards on the road.”

John Spencer, team leader for road safety at Northamptonshire Highways, said: “Our CarKraft scheme is a testament to the principles of partnership collaboration and directing resources to where they are most needed.

“The courses are tailored specifically to impart a dynamic mix of workshops and driving challenges designed to influence behavioural change, skills limitations and complacent attitudes.”

The Highways Awards will be presented at a ceremony in London on 18 October, while the CILT Awards will be presented the following evening (19 October), also in London.

Category: Young drivers.



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    The participants are volunteers indeed, there’s pushes over social media and the like to get people to attend but there’s no compulsion involved. Talking to a few people there gave the idea that for some, it was a bit of parental pressure that got them to come along.

    David Weston, Corby
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    It would indeed be a pity if a well-intentioned driver improvement course led to over-confidence and more risk-taking from the participants. I presume the participants are volunteers and therefore intent at the outset on learning for safety, rather than say ‘high performance’?

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    It would be really useful if the evaluation methodology and results for this project could be shared with us all. There is a lot of academic research which has shown the limited effectiveness of skills training, especially for young people (in fact it could even be detrimental to them), so it would be beneficial to the road safety community if we could see how success was measured and what the effective behaviour change techniques used in this intervention are.

    Tanya, Banbury
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    As someone who has attended two of these sessions over the last few years, I can’t recommend it enough.

    I can’t say that the classroom lectures weren’t useful, but it really, really depends on who is in the cohort with you. Being grouped with quite dull, unimaginative people made it quite a drag but I suspect this may be partly because not many 17-25 year olds have been driving long enough to experience the road for all of its colourful delights and traps. (nor shares my interesting opinions on road safety, quelle surprise)

    The drive with the police officer is an interesting experience (5/5 score, woo!) but I’m generally unsure how anyone can do poorly with this.

    The skid pan is something that I think should be included in some sort of new drivers’ curriculum however. Thankfully I was learning to drive in snow and ice (and as such, learned to respect it from the beginning) but it’s always good to practice reactions to severe loss of traction.

    Once again, cannot recommend it enough. However, I suspect the folks who /actually/ should be attending these sort of events aren’t, be it due to ego or whatever.

    David Weston, Corby
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