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New partnership programme launches in Renfrewshire to keep young drivers safe on the road

Young drivers at Renfrewshire Council are set to improve their skills behind the wheel as Police Scotland launched a new partnership programme in Renfrewshire.

More than 40 driving instructors and learners attended a launch event at the Gleniffer Hotel which outlined the benefits of the programme through presentations by Police Scotland and the Motor Schools Association of Great Britain.

The new driver scheme aims to provide young drivers with the skills and knowledge needed to lower the risk of a collision for inexperienced drivers.

The scheme will link with the Council’s Modern Apprenticeship programme and young drivers will have the opportunity to attend workshops designed to improve their hazard perception.

The course will use case studies to identify the missed hazards which ultimately caused a collision, recognise why they were missed and provide the solutions to ensure that drivers will not make the same mistakes.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “This new programme will be a fantastic resource for our Modern Apprentices to take advantage of and will prepare them for life on the roads, both in their own vehicles and when using the council fleet.

“It is important that young drivers are able to deal with the hazards which may present themselves on the roads and the course allows the risks to be addressed in the classroom before facing them in reality.

“This training will ensure that all young drivers who have access to the council fleet will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to drive the vehicles safely and appropriately as they carry out their role within the organisation.”

Since the scheme was launched in February 2017, more than 1000 drivers have taken part in workshops with Police Scotland to enhance their hazard perception skills when behind the wheel.

Superintendent Nichola Burns, Renfrewshire and Inverclyde Division, said “Working in partnership with Renfrewshire Council is a fantastic way for us to reach out to new drivers through their modern apprentice programme.

“It allows us to promote road safety by discussing opinions and driving styles, and highlighting the dangers of peer pressure and bravado whilst in control of a vehicle.

“Working in partnership with Renfrewshire Council allows us to improve road safety by delivering the right messages to the right audience and at the most appropriate time.  We hope our presentations will change attitudes and behaviours.”

The Council will make the course available to all its modern apprentices, with an initial focus on those who will have access to the Council fleet.

All employees currently have to undergo a pre-assessment check before being allowed access to a council vehicle and the training will expand on this to ensure all necessary precautions are in place.

Constable Craig Beaver of Police Scotland’s Road Policing Department, said: “We will be delivering the New Driver Scheme to all apprentices within Renfrewshire Council over the next few months.

“Our resource is impactive, informative, and puts the hazard perception skills which new drivers have acquired into a real life context.”

If you are a new driver, or an employer of new drivers and feel you may benefit from this free opportunity, please get in touch via newdriverscheme@scotland.pnn.police.uk

For more information on the scheme visit: http://www.scotland.police.uk/contact-us/new-driver-scheme.