Mid & East Antrim Policing and Community Safety Partnership are helping young drivers across the borough to become safety ambassadors.
A ‘New Driver NI’ magazine will be distributed to every student in Mid and East Antrim’s secondary schools. Aimed at novice drivers, it gives advice and information on learning to drive, passing the test, buying and insuring a car and staying safe on the road.
The magazine – by New Driver Safety Ambassador Company – will replace presentations and talks that would usually have taken place pre Covid-19 pandemic. There is also an online workshop on safe motoring, and a competition.
10,000 students from 90 schools a year would usually hear all about road safety, so this innovative way of sharing these messages means nobody will miss out on key information that can help students learning to drive.
Mid & East Antrim PCSP Chair, Councillor John McDermott said: “Even though tests are currently suspended due to the pandemic, we recognise the preparation that is involved and that young people will want to continue this learning. It’s important that we can still bring this information to young people across the borough who are at the stage of learning to drive. This is an exciting time for these young people, however it can also be daunting and by reading this magazine or taking part in the digital workshop, we hope it can answer any questions they may have.
“This will hopefully help to reassure parents as well that their children are still being told of the dangers of driving, as well as the taste of independence it can provide. Too many young people are still losing their lives or being seriously injured on Northern Ireland’s roads. We want to see these figures reduce as one death is too many.”
Stephen Savage, Project Manager at New Driver Safety Ambassadors says the programme, now in its sixth year, continues to grow: “Covid-19 meant that we had to think outside the box in getting young people to participate. The magazine is one element, another was setting an ambitious target to get 5,000 Share the Road to Zero pledges online, and to help us achieve this we have cash prizes and a brand new car up for grabs. To enter you just have to watch the online presentation, make the Safe Motoring Pledge and answer a few quick questions. You will then be entered into a monthly draw for a £100 prize.
“A huge thanks to Mid and East Antrim PCSP for helping us roll this out and to our prize sponsors CRASH Services and JMK Solicitors.”
The programme is free for schools as funding is provided by DFI Road Safety Grant Scheme, a number of PCSP’s including Mid and East Antrim and by CRASH Services, Hankook Tyres, AB&C Insurance, DriveTech UK, and JMK Solicitors.