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Parents can have a big impact on learner drivers

learner driver parentWith changes to the driving test coming into force in December 2017, Stone parents are being reminded of their role to help make their children better, safer drivers.

Allowing learner drivers to go on the motorway, a greater emphasis on hazard awareness and show me tell me questioning  are some of the changes being introduced to the driving test from 4 December.

To help parents understand the new changes, the Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership have launched a new campaign and website at www.newdrivers.info.

The website has advice on the new test, choosing a good driving instructor and tips for parents when practising with their child in the family car.  Videos, downloadable guides with hints for first-time car buyers and help with finding the most appropriate insurance are also available for free.

With research showing that one in five newly qualified drivers are involved in a road traffic collision within the first 6 months of passing their test.  The new campaign hopes to avoid young people being a part of this shocking statistic.

Speaking on behalf of the Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership, Helen Fisher, Cabinet Support Member for Highways and Transport at Staffordshire County Council said:

“Keeping our roads safe is one of our top priorities and Staffordshire remains one of the safest counties in England for road safety.  But we are not complacent and want to make our roads even safer which is why we are reaching out to younger drivers.

“Parents are very well placed to give their children the best possible start to their driving career too and we hope our website will give them the knowledge to help their children be better, safer drivers.”

Some top tips from the website include:

  • For parents, spend as much time as possible sitting with your child as they practice their driving in the family car. It’s essential that they get in as much practice as possible, but this must be alongside professional tuition, not instead of it.
  • Encourage your child to invest in some post-test training.
  • When your child buys their first car, with or without your help, explain to them how a newer car needn’t cost a lot more than something older which will cost much more to run – and which will be much less safe.  Newer cars have more tech that helps to prevent crashes, but in the event of a collision a newer car will protect your child that much more.
  • When choosing car insurance, steer your child towards a telematics (or black box) policy. Not only can this save them a lot of money very quickly but it could also make them a safer driver.
  • Driving too fast, taking drugs or drinking alcohol can all lead to carnage and it’s the same with using a mobile phone or not wearing a seatbelt. These are known as the Fatal Five and its key that you spend time talking to your child about these dangers.
  • Driving Instructors are also playing their part in the campaign by registering to become one of the team of Honest Truth Instructors which already has over 100 instructors signed up across Staffordshire.

Helen added:

“Being a safe young driver is about much more than passing your test. It is about having the experience in different situations and having the right attitude about driving.  Remember too, there are extra courses available for newly qualified drivers which help develop their skills as a driver such as pass plus extra.  I would definitely encourage people to take one of these.”

You can find out more about the campaign and general road safety advice at www.staffssaferroads.co.uk 

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