Bid to cut Scottish Borders young driver death rate

 
L Plate The council has set aside £48,000 to put young drivers through the scheme

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A two-year programme hopes to reduce the number of young people being killed and injured on roads in the Borders.

It will allow up to 400 drivers aged from 17 to 25 to get advanced training.

Scottish Borders Council has committed £48,000 to put them through the Institute of Advanced Motorists' (IAM) Skill for Life programme.

More than 400 people were injured on Borders roads from 2008 to 2012, with the annual cost of road accidents in the region estimated at £35.7m.

The scheme is supported by former British Touring Car Champion John Cleland.

He described it as "an opportunity to cut road deaths, cut government costs due to road accidents and make youngsters safer and more confident drivers".

Young motorists are being encouraged to attend a driver demo day held at his showroom in Galashiels on 23 March.

As well as getting a free health check for their vehicle by Mr Cleland, they will be able to get a demonstration drive and ask experts questions about the course, which normally costs £139.

John Cleland John Cleland said the scheme could create "safer and more confident" young drivers

Ch Insp Kenny Simpson said: "SBC is one of the first local authorities in Scotland to offer free sponsorship for 17 to 25-year-olds through IAM's Skill for Life programme.

"This is a great opportunity to learn skills which offer long term benefits not only to the driver but to the Borders community.

"There are far too many people killed or seriously injured on our roads and unfortunately young people account for approximately 20% to 25% of these."

As well as improving skills, the Skill for Life programme also provides a potential reduction in car insurance and a year's free roadside and recovery assistance.

Neil Greig, IAM's director of policy and research, said: "The best drivers understand that advanced driving will give them the chance to learn skills which will bring them a lifetime of benefits.

"With this new initiative SBC is leading the country in giving new drivers the experience they need to survive the high risk early months of solo driving."

Councillor Donald Moffat said the local authority was delighted to be able to support the scheme.

"The figures all show young drivers are particularly at risk of experiencing a crash, so anything we can do to give them more knowledge and make our roads safer has to be welcomed," he said.

 

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 34.

    Flakbee- you'd be lucky to see any traffic police in the Borders (outside of a couple of trunk roads). Scottish Government is closing local police stations and courts. Attitude; "we're not removing the traffic warden service" and it turns out one guy is covering from Hawick to Eyemouth. Out of touch Holyrood elite, methinks.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 33.

    Has anyone watched any Cop and Camera shows on TV? - run from the cops, drive dangerously at high speed, collide with other cars, no licence, no inusrance - sentence? diqualified for a year and a £100 fine - where are the consequences?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 32.

    31- this is a post about road safety and its typical that, as with any Scottish subject, some separatist tries to make out it's all about them. come September, vote NO and lets shut up these single issue fanatics for a generation.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 31.

    the BBC bias against Scotland continues , think you'll miss out TV license ??? hope you do , the ALBA station , like the News is a joke , vote YES and rid us of Tory rule and BBC

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 30.

    Why don't we teach people to drive properly in the first instance.Raise the bar in the Driving Test and make sure that everyone drives to the standards of the Advanced motorist standards. Ie looking ahead and anticipating what can occur.
    The current test is passed it's sell by date and needs revamped to take into account more anticipation rather than simply looking 50 yards ahead of the bonnet

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 29.

    Why are we not allowed to comment on the Lockerbie - Iran connection? The Scottish Borders Young Drivers story is the only one on the whole BBC News Website inviting comments.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 28.

    as with everything Borders Council do ...... too little too late i'm afraid

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 27.

    Limit the engine size and make new drivers carry 'R' (restricted) plates for a minimum of 1 year.

    I live in a rural area and the number of young drivers on the road who don't give a hoot for other road users is incredible. They drive too fast and overtake at inappropriate places. The young girl across the road from me turned her car over due to high speed - she still drives like a maniac.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 26.

    I don't think you will ever stop Jack-the-Lad from thrashing his car up and down the road to impress his mates and show off to the lassies. Restriction on engine power and the carrying of passengers might help, but the youth of today just have no willingness to take any advice, no matter how well intentioned, from anybody.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 25.

    Perhaps there should be a limit on the size of engine young people can drive after passing their test. Maybe they could be limited to 1100cc for three years and 1300cc for another couple of years.

    That does not preclude them from having a vehicle but might help stop them driving sporty cars around like they are in a rally.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 24.

    Its modern cars that give a feeling of too much stability and security that are a big problem. I have a 30 year old classic 4x4, it has power steering and servo brakes (neither over assisted though), but no ABS, no stabililty control and no air bags. You get a hell of a lot more feedback from what the grip and road conditions are like than in a modern car. People are too isolated!

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 23.

    A similar system to getting a motorbike licence should be put in place. Restricted in power until the relevant age or experience has been met.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 22.

    There were far less accidents when the favoured mode of transport was using horses, perhaps in rural areas such as the Borders, horses should be reintroduced and cars, vans, lorries, and buses are scrapped, if this is successful then it could be implemented throughout the rest of the UK.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 21.

    The safer a driver feels, the riskier the driving.

    Do away with safety belts and put a steel spike in the center of the steering wheel and that would reduce speeds.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 20.

    Too many see learning to drive as "a rite of passage". It is a skill, a activity where full concentration is required and fine spacial awareness.

    The test measures whether the learner is good enough over that sixty minutes to meet the basic requirements. Just like an MOT certificate, on that day you were good enough to pass the basics, nothing more. Time to have a 3 or 4 stage exam process.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 19.

    The age of being able to have a driving license should be increased to 25 from 2015, anyone with a current valid license who is between 17 and 24 should have to resit their tests, this would make our roads much safer

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 18.

    The ingredients for disaster are everywhere.....windy, slidy country roads and children driving cars too powerful for them to handle properly....Fife and Aberdeenshire suffer the same sorry statistics.....best bet....limit engine sizes for kids.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 17.

    This should be top of the agenda in the Scottish independence debate.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 16.

    When I was learning to drive, my tutor (a family friend) said "You're learning to pass a test. Once you've passed then you'll start learning to drive".
    I'd keep the driving age as it is but outwith driving to or from work or education, make it the law that they cannot carry any passengers for two years after they pass the driving test. This would go a long way to solving the 'bravado' problem.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 15.

    the sole purpose of the driving test is to show you are capable of being in charge of a vehicle on your own.

    the accidents and consequences highlighted today most likely have two or more occupants in the vehicle at the time of an accident. perhaps the prudent measure for novice drivers is to adhere to that goal and forbid any passengers in a novice's vehicle.

 

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