Safety-focused driving lessons for 10 to 17-year-olds to launch in Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 11:30 01 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:36 01 October 2019
Youngsters aged from 10 to 17 can get behind the wheel for real, as youth driving lessons are set to launch in Ipswich.
Young Driver will be running its first event at the London Road Park and Ride site in the town on Sunday, November 3. The scheme focuses on safe driving in a bid to reduce the shocking accident rate for newly-qualified drivers and create a safer next generation of motorists.
The car park will be transformed into a realistic road system on selected Sundays across the year.
The scheme previously launched at Bentwaters Park in 2018, but could not continue lessons at the venue beyond August last year, and has since been looking for an alternative location. It also runs driving courses for youngsters at Newmarket Racecourse and Colchester United FC's stadium..
Sue Waterfield, head of marketing at Young Driver, said: "We are really excited to be relaunching in Ipswich, and this will be a great venue. It will provide plenty of opportunities for youngsters to try out lots of different driving skills and techniques - whether they're a beginner or have already had a few lessons with us.
"The theory behind Young Driver is to allow young people to get to grips with the 'under the dashboard' elements of driving, such as gear changes, clutch control and steering, before they have to start worrying about interacting with drivers who may have been on the roads for years.
"Then, at 17 when they do get on the road, they can focus much more on the potential hazards on the road and other road users, rather than what to do with their feet. Research shows that training drivers over a longer period of time, and catching youngsters when their attitudes towards driving are still developing, is key to producing a safer driver."
Jack Aldous, then 14, had a driving lesson at Bentwaters Park in 2018, and said afterwards: "I really enjoyed the lesson. It was really good, it has made me excited for when I am 17 and can learn how to drive. I think I will like driving."
Budding drivers taking part will have lessons in dual controlled Vauxhall Corsas, with highly-qualified approved driving instructors. A special road system will be created, with traffic signs, roundabouts and junctions, along with special areas to practice steering control and parking. Tuition is available for youngsters with disabilities.
Young Driver says that around 400 people are killed in accidents involving young drivers every year in the UK. Shockingly, one in five newly-qualified drivers crashes within six months of passing their test. But, for those who have taken a Young Driver course, the rate of accidents in that first six months drops by more than a half, to fewer than one in ten.
Upcoming dates at London Road Park and Ride are November 3 and December 1,The cost is £36.99 for a 30-minute lesson or £69.99 for a 60-minute lesson, and it is also possible to book birthday parties. To book lessons or buy gift vouchers, call 0333 5779010 or visit their website.