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Motors, In the community

Safer Driving Scheme for Under-17s Launches in Oxford

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Young Driver offers driving lessons to 10 17 year olds in a brand new Vauxhall Corsa ouvm8i

A specialist driver training scheme, which starts teaching youngsters from the age of four, is launching in Oxford.

Young Driver allows 10-17 year olds to get behind the wheel of a real car at private locations and with an approved driving instructor, in a bid to create a generation of safer drivers. Under 10s can drive the specially created Firefly Sport electric car at selected venues.

The scheme will transform some of the car park at Kassam Stadium into a realistic road system so youngsters can work on a range of driving skills and manoeuvres. Lessons for 10-17s will start on Saturday 15th June, with events then taking place on selected weekend and school holiday dates throughout the year.

Young Driver is the UK’s largest provider of pre-17 driving lessons, having delivered over 1.4 million lessons at venues across the UK. Youngsters have lessons in dual controlled Vauxhall Corsas and other similar cars, with highly qualified approved driving instructors.

A road system is created, with traffic signs, roundabouts and junctions, along with special areas to practice manoeuvres such as steering control and parking. The emphasis of the lessons is on safety and fun and encouraging youngsters to consider how to drive responsibly, giving them time to perfect driving skills such as gear changes, braking and steering without the pressures of public roads.

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 worrying first six months drops dramatically, to fewer than four per cent – a reduction of more than 80 per cent.

Sue Waterfield, head of marketing at Young Driver, said: “We are excited to be launching a brilliant new venue in Oxford at the Kassam Stadium. We actually ran in the city about a decade ago but had to stop for operational reasons, so it’s great to be back. It is a large space so we can offer lots of different driving activities for young people, whether they’re a beginner or have already had a few lessons at another of our venues, such as Bicester, Newbury or Wycombe.

“Training drivers over a longer period of time allows youngsters to have a solid understanding of how to drive a car before they get anywhere near a real road. Research shows that creates a safer driver – and we believe it creates safer pedestrians and cyclists too. But the lessons are also lots of fun and they’re a great general confidence boost for teens and pre-teens, who take the responsibility very seriously. When they’re reverse parking at the end of the first lesson, it’s often a shock for parents!”

Driving tuition is available for disabled youngsters. Thirty or sixty-minute lessons for 10-17s must be booked in advance and prices start from £42.99.

For more information visit www.youngdriver.com or call 0333 577 9010.

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