PUPILS at schools in Nottinghamshire are being given the chance to get behind the wheel of a car – well before they are legally allowed to.
Nottinghamshire County Council is offering a pre-driver training experience for pupils between the ages of 15 and 17 as part of an ongoing programme of education for young people in a bid to cut road traffic casualties in the county.
The one-day sessions take place at the Nottingham Forest ground next month and follow a successful pilot carried out in Newark earlier this year.
Three dates have been set – Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, August 21st, 22nd and 23rd – in the Brian Clough stand and car park. The event runs from 9am until 4pm and costs £35. Pupils don’t need a provisional driving licence as the training takes place away from the public highway
All schools and colleges in the county have been sent invitations for their pupils and demand for the 60 places is expected to be high. Bookings can be made now by phoning 0844 980 8080.
“This course gives young people their first experience behind the wheel of a car in a safe, controlled, environment with fully qualified driving instructors,” said Coun Richard Jackson, chairman of the County Council’s highways and transport committee.
“The day also introduces them to the responsibilities that come with being a driver.
“Research shows that young people form and crystallise their driving attitudes well before they actually take to the road themselves, so it’s important that they receive the right message from the right people.
“These latest sessions follow a successful trial carried out in Newark earlier this year and if all goes well with them we will look to run some more courses in the October half-term.”
According to research from the Department for Transport, youngsters form their driving attitudes long before they actually get behind the wheel of a car.
By the age of 17, when they can legally drive, they have very often picked up bad habits from watching their parents or other people with whom they regularly travel as passengers.
As well as two hours’ in-car training, the pre-driver training days also include advice on how to choose a good driving instructor and workshops on the responsibilities that come with being a driver, including the effects – and repercussions – of drink or drugs on a person’s driving abilities.
There will also be practical demonstrations of safe stopping distances and cornering techniques.