Young people complete ‘Drive for Safety’ with Amey at Silverstone

30 July 2010
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Two thirds of young drivers over-rated their ability – but 98 per cent now feel they are safer drivers, thanks to a pioneering road safety campaign by Amey.

Only one in eight drivers is aged 18-25 – yet this age group is involved in one third of road accidents.* Road crashes are the biggest cause of death in young people in the UK.

Amey launched the campaign, named Drive for Safety, to reduce the number of road accidents among 18-25-year olds – the most ‘at risk’ group.

Almost 80 young people attended, including young drivers and the guests also included Amey Chief Executive Mel Ewell and road safety experts from Birmingham, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Warwick and Oxfordshire. 

Natalie Batten, age 20, from Didcot said: “Some of the statistics were really hard-hitting – like if you have three passengers in the car, you are 182 per cent more likely to have an accident. That really made me think, as I always travel with friends in the car.”

Tapan Joshi, who is working on Birmingham Highways PFI, said: “The day proved that young drivers are at the highest risk and no matter how old you are you are never too old to learn simple, intuitive tools to make your car journeys safer.”

During the event, young drivers completed a series of driving exercises to practise potentially life-saving manoeuvres. These included:

•    Driving in a skid pan car, which replicates the conditions drivers experience when they lose control due to ice or aqua planing.
•    Emergency braking
•    A driving assessment with an advanced instructor
•    A road safety workshop

The event was supported by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) – a leading charity which campaigns to make roads safer; and Amey’s corporate charity – The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Mel Ewell, Chief Executive of Amey, said: “Amey manages and maintains much of the UK’s road network. As such, road safety is a real priority for us – for our own people and for the communities we work in.

“What we found from Drive for Safety is that the vast majority of young people lack of awareness of dangerous situations and are over confident in their driving ability.

“The reality is around 200 young people die in road accidents every year. It’s important we remember that these are not just ‘statistics’; they’re people’s children, brothers and sisters.

“Amey’s Drive for Safety has armed the participants with skills that could help prevent accidents in the first place, and also help them respond appropriately when they enter a potentially dangerous situation.”

Steve Baker, Head of RoSPA Wales, said: “As a national provider of highways services, Amey is leading by example by taking responsibility for promoting road safety among young people

“By spending extra time practising driving techniques in real-life situations, the young people who attended Amey’s Drive for Safety will be better-equipped to avoid, and cope with, accidents.

“Driving is one of the most popular skills for young people doing their DofE programme, so we are delighted to support Amey’s Drive for Safety, which will help young people to be safer drivers,” says Tom Ovenstone, DofE Head of Programmes.


Notes to editors:

* - According to Brake

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