AN AMBITIOUS pilot scheme with DVSA driving test centres has been launched in a bid to reduce the staggering numbers of young drivers and passengers involved in major incidents.
With an average of 168 road users aged 17-24 killed or seriously injured on UK roads each month, six councils across the UK have been chosen to provide free guides aimed at reducing that toll.
Created by Good Egg Drivers, a Community Interest Company, the guides, entitled ‘Getting your licence and keeping it... everything you need to know’ are designed to be the ultimate resource for the new driver – shining a light on the dangers posed at the wheel while providing positive, practical advice.
Thousands of guides will be provided to practical test centres through road safety officers in the six pilot regions while support materials will be placed in theory test centres.
Councils that have signed up to the pilot are Edinburgh, Newcastle, York, Liverpool and the London Boroughs of Lewisham and Hillingdon.
Jan James, founder of Good Egg Drivers, said: “We feel strongly that these collisions involving our youngest drivers are so frequent that we have, in a sense, almost become desensitised to the tragic reports we see with alarming regularity.
“Our guides are not designed to be ‘preachy’ – they are very straightforward and wholly focused on the key messages new drivers urgently need to be aware of.”
The Good Egg New Drivers Guides were developed in collaboration with academics and some of the UK’s pre-eminent experts in road safety, and provide clear warnings on the dangers posed by passenger distractions, mobile phones, alcohol, drugs and speeding.
The easy-to-read guides also contain practical advice on matters such as avoiding huge insurance premiums, what to do in advance of your test – and even buying your first car.
Bill Pope, Head of Publishing with the DVSA, said: “DVSA’s priority is to guide you through a lifetime of safe driving.
“Driving test centres are a great place for road safety officers and Good Egg Drivers to give young motorists extra help to stay safe on the roads.”
The Good Egg new drivers initiative has received backing from throughout the motoring industry, including Arnold Clark, Veygo by Admiral, Biffa, and the Institute of Advanced Motoring (IAM).
Jean-Baptiste Limare, Head of Veygo, a provider of on-demand insurance for learner and new drivers, said: "It is still the case that new drivers are involved in far too many road traffic accidents.
"The team at Veygo are passionate about road safety - and we're thrilled to support this initiative. Hopefully going forward, Good Egg will be able to expand this pilot to every test centre in the UK – and we can begin to turn the tide on the huge number of crashes on our roads.”
Neil Greig, Policy and Research Director with IAM RoadSmart, said: “As a learner taking on board the right information and getting as much useful experience as possible are the keys to a long driving career.
"In this guide you can learn about the key risks that new drivers can face and how to deal with them. Use it to make sure that your on-road time with instructor or parents hits the right targets and prepares you for real world driving on our busy and stressful British roads.”
Dave West, Regional SHEQ Coach at leading national recycling and waste management provider Biffa, stated: “Our involvement with this project is a natural progression from our highly successful Driving Recklessly on Pavements (DRoPs) campaign - featured in the Good Egg guide - which highlights the dangers posed to both waste collection operatives and members of the public when drivers mount the pavement to get around refuse collection vehicles.
“There is still much for young drivers to learn even when they have passed their test, and the information provided in the Good Egg guide will be invaluable in helping them become accomplished, safe and considerate motorists – and so reducing the unacceptably high number of accidents involving this group of drivers.”
Good Egg Safety is headquartered in London and bids to be a comprehensive, helpful reference point that gives essential advice on all aspects of learning to drive, buying a car, getting on the road and staying safe.
The website www.goodeggdrivers.com offers accessible tips for new drivers on important information such as choosing the best instructor, passing the tests, insurance, the responsibilities of getting behind the wheel and how to keep that hard-earned licence.