Young drivers get behind the wheel thanks to Owlerton

18th April 2016

A scheme which enables youngsters to get safely behind the wheel of a car has launched at Owlerton Greyhound Stadium.

Young Driver, which sees 10 to 17 year olds experience driving lessons with a highly qualified driving instructor, has teamed up with Owlerton to use the stadium's car park. During the lessons, a whole road system is created in the car park to help the drivers learn everything from changing gears and parking to using roundabouts and manoeuvring through slaloms. The lessons at Owlerton will all take place on evenings, between 5.30 and 8.30pm, allowing some youngsters the chance to try driving in dimming light conditions. Lessons are designed to mirror those taken on the road at the age of 17, but give youngsters the chance to take their time without any pressure to pass a test. The aim of allowing youngsters to drive at a younger age is to reduce the number of accidents involving newly qualified drivers, with two out of ten crashing within six months of passing their tests. However, research has shown that for those who have taken a Young Driver course, the rate of accidents in the first six months after passing their test drops by more than a half, to fewer than one in ten. Kim Stanton from Young Driver said: -We're delighted to have joined forces with Owlerton Greyhound Stadium to offer more young drivers in Sheffield the chance to take to the wheel in a safe and secure environment. -With the accident rate figures for newly qualified drivers so shockingly high, it is vital something is done to help our youngsters become safer drivers. Four hundred people are killed every year in accidents involving young drivers. We believe it is important to train drivers over a longer period of time and that catching youngsters when their attitudes towards driving are still developing is the key to producing a safer driver. By starting at a younger age you can more easily focus on attitude and behaviour. -Young Driver lessons have now been delivered to more than 275,000 10 to 17 year olds across the UK, which will make a huge difference when it is time for that generation to take to the roads for real. John Gilburn, managing director at Owlerton Greyhound Stadium, said: -We're really pleased to have teamed up with Young Driver to give young people the opportunity to gain valuable experience of driving before actually getting out on the road. -The statistics of new driver crash rates speak for themselves, so hopefully by allowing local young people to use our car park we can contribute towards reducing these rates. This, in turn, creates a safer environment for everyone out on the road. For more information about Young Driver visit www.youngdriver.eu.

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