Young drivers in Mansfield will get behind the wheel for half-term

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WOULD-BE drivers as young as 15 are being given the chance to get behind the wheel of a car – legally – in a scheme being run by Nottinghamshire County Council.

Pre-driver training experiences for pupils between the ages of 15 and 17 are being offered as part of the County Council’s ongoing programme of education for young people in a bid to cut road traffic casualties in the county.

The County Council held its first pre-driver sessions last February and they proved so successful that extra weeks were held in August and October.

Now, another one-day session is taking place during half-term week at the Nottingham Forest ground, with activities taking place in the Brian Clough stand and car park.

The event, on Wednesday February 20, is already fully booked and has proved popular with young would-be drivers. Pupils don’t need a provisional driving licence as the training takes place away from the public highway.

“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.

“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.”

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 day also includes 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.