Improvement course helps out drivers

THERE are more people in the county today who know how to avoid an accident thanks to a drivers' improvers course.

THERE are more people in the county today who know how to avoid an accident thanks to a drivers' improvers course.

A group of 20 motorists, who were caught driving without due care and attention, entered the National Driver Improvement Scheme a little fearful and sceptical of what lay ahead.

However after a day and a half of theory and practical learning about the thought processes behind driving and the potential hazards to spot on the roads, they emerged with confidence and an ability to drive safely.

Tony Pierce, senior instructor for the National Driver Improvement Scheme in Suffolk, said: “The reaction of people when they first come here is very sceptical.

“Most people believe they have a good standard of driving. These are genuine people who have made a mistake and they are scared of what they are about to face.

“It is our job to open up and welcome them. By the end, nearly all of them say they wished they could have done the course without the reason that brought them here.

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“We want them to see potential hazards and recognise them properly so they have an escape route. A one-second earlier response could take away 90 per cent of collisions.

“It is such a positive alternative to prosecution. It takes away the negativity of fines and points and it gives them new skills and enthusiasm.”

One of the drivers said: “The course has been wonderful. I was really nervous after my accident but I have found much more confidence since going on this course.

“I definitely feel safer behind the wheel and I'm really pleased I got to do this course.”

Another driver, who was offered the course after he was involved in an accident with a motorbike, said: “There are so many things you take for granted when you are driving. You never think accidents will happen to you. We are all so used to driving but this course has given me more awareness.

“The number of fatalities is scary and it can happen to anyone.”

Have you been involved in a road accident and have an opinion on this campaign? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

The Evening Star, alongside Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Constabulary, Suffolk Safecam, the Highways Agency and the East of England Ambulance Service, has launched a ten-week Save a Life campaign to reduce the numbers of those getting killed or seriously injured on our county's roads.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the shocking statistics surrounding the amount of accidents on Suffolk's roads, which could be so easily avoided by just thinking before getting behind the wheel.

Among the core areas to be tackled throughout the campaign are speeding, using mobile phones while driving, drink and drug driving, not wearing seatbelts.

A WIDOW is today urging Suffolk motorists to slow down as she returned to the scene of an accident, in which her husband died two years ago.

Pauline McCune's husband Jo-Jo was killed on the A134 at Leavenheath on September 25, 2006. He lost control of his motorbike on his way to a funeral and was struck by an oncoming van.

Yesterday Mrs McCune, from Bridlington in East Yorkshire, returned to the scene of the collision to lay flowers and meet the roads policing officers who investigated the accident.

Mrs McCune said: “Jo-Jo was 43. He had just had his birthday and it had been our wedding anniversary earlier in the month. He was on his way to his auntie's funeral. He wasn't speeding but was going too quick when it was raining hard. His death is something I have to live with everyday and it doesn't go away.

“If people stuck to the limits and thought about the possibilities of what might happen on country roads, more deaths and serious injuries might be prevented. I watch people speeding and think if only you knew what pain you may leave behind.”