Shropshire police commissioner backs young driver safety scheme
Shropshire's police commissioner is backing a project aiming to make young people safer drivers.
John Campion, Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia, has hailed the impact of the 'Pathfinder' project, which he has supported with grant funding.
A survey of the young people who have been involved in the project has been found they are safer than their peers, with a 1-in-17 first-year accident rate compared to 1-in-5.
Pathfinder is designed to reduce the number of road traffic incidents and collisions, and convictions, among the most vulnerable driving group – those aged between 17 and 24.
It works with young people before they are 17, and in an environment where they can develop appropriate understanding of road risk, a positive attitude to road safety and the essential technical driving skills.
Not only does the course aim to reduce the number of collisions, it also reduces the number of convictions.
Of the survey participants, only one driver, who accounted for two per cent of the sample, had been convicted of a traffic offence, compared with nearly 24 per cent of all drivers nationally.
Mr Campion said: “It is great news to hear that the Pathfinder scheme is having a positive impact on those that have taken part in it. Giving young people the opportunity to learn key driving skills in an environment like this is invaluable.
"There are far too many accidents involving young people happening on our roads. Through projects like Pathfinder we can tackle this problem together and increase driver competence, attitudes and understanding.”
Paul Silverwood, Chair of Trustees for the Under 17 Car Club Charitable Trust, said: “This latest survey is entirely consistent with previous surveys of our graduates. It proves that the disproportionately high numbers of young driver deaths, injuries and collisions are avoidable by applying the appropriate non-traditional training and education.
"If the Pathfinder programme was adopted nationally, the country would save billions of pounds in addition to the avoidance of family grief.”