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Deadline looms for 2016 Young Driver Awards


FirstCar has issued a reminder to road safety teams that the deadline for entries to the 2016 Young Driver Awards is 12 February.

Sponsored by Road Safety Support (RSS), the awards will be presented at the Young Driver Focus event in London on 20 April 2016.

The FirstCar Young Driver Road Safety Awards were created to recognise the work of road safety professionals in seeking to reduce casualties among young drivers. The three awards categories in 2015 – the first year the awards ran – attracted more than 60 entries.

For 2016, there are six awards categories: Best Education and Training Initiative; Partnership Scheme; Young Driver Campaign; New Scheme; Sustainable Intervention; and Private Sector Initiative.

For all categories the judges will be looking for schemes with clear and measurable aims and objectives, and for evidence of evaluation.

Speaking at the launch of the 2016 awards on 5 January, James Evans, founder of FirstCar, said: “We were delighted with the success of our inaugural awards and are keen to develop them in 2016 to recognise all the hard work that goes on in this sector, often unrewarded.

“We’ve introduced three additional categories for 2016, for new schemes, sustainable initiatives and another specifically for schemes from private sector organisations. The latter has been introduced in recognition of the excellent work in the private sector to try and improve the safety of young drivers.”

Entries need to be submitted by 12 February and the shortlist will be announced week commencing 22 February. The awards will be presented at Young Driver Focus 2016, which is being held at the Royal Automobile Club (RAC), Pall Mall in London on 20 April 2016.

Click here for more details about the awards categories and how to enter, or for more information contact James Evans at FirstCar on 0845 130 8853.

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Speaker will bring international perspective to young driver event

Haythorpe_BenThe latest confirmed speaker for Young Driver Focus 2016 will fly from ‘down under’ to present the most extensive novice driver training and road safety education initiative in Australia’s history.

Young Driver Focus 2016 is being held at the prestigious RAC Club in London’s Pall Mall, courtesy of the RAC Foundation, on Wednesday 20 April 2016. The event is organised by Road Safety GB in partnership with FirstCar and in association with ingenie. It is sponsored by the MIB and supported by stakeholders including the DfT, Road Safety Scotland, RoadSafe, RoSPA, PACTS and IAM.

Ben Haythorpe, senior manager community education at the RAA Group, will outline keys2drive, a joint initiative of the AAA (Australian Automobile Association) and the Australian Government.

Keys2drive comprises three major components: a free 60-minute lesson, a website for novice drivers and a voluntary accreditation scheme for professional driving instructors. Over the past seven years more than 400,000 free lessons have been delivered. Research by the University of New South Wales show that keys2drive participants have a significantly lower crash rate than those who do not participate.

Ben Haythorpe has worked as a teacher and principal in schools in South Australia, the United Kingdom and Japan, and has specialised in road safety education for the past 12 years. In his current role he focuses on education programmes for schools as well as younger and older drivers.

The Keys2drive presentation will form part of a session at Young Driver Focus 2016 titled an ‘international perspective’, which will also include presentations by Mark Born and Professor Warren Brodsky from the Ben-Gurion University Of The Negev, Israel.

Mark Born will present a review of driving instructor training from around the world while Professor Brodsky will explain the effects of in-car music on driver behaviour, and how playlists can be modified to improve safety.

Around 120 people have already booked to attend Young Driver Focus 2016. The delegate fee for Road Safety GB and Academy members is just £100 and for other attendees £150 (both prices plus VAT).

Click here to register to attend, or here for information about exhibiting alongside the conference. For more information contact Sally Bartrum (delegate registration), Nick Rawlings (agenda & speakers) or Richard Storrs (exhibition).

Minister to address Young Driver Focus


Road safety minister Andrew Jones is address delegates at the Young Driver Focus 2016 event on 20 April.

Mr Jones, who also presented via video link at the 2015 National Road Safety Conference, will deliver a keynote presentation at the event, which is being held at the RAC Club in London.

Now in its third year, Young Driver Focus puts the spotlight on this high-risk demographic. The 2016 event will examine current and future thinking, and what is being done to reduce collisions and casualties caused by young, inexperienced drivers.

Recent research for the RAC Foundation shows that while teenage drivers (17-19 years) make up only 1.5% of full licence holders they are involved in 12% of accidents where someone is killed or seriously hurt. One in five newly qualified young drivers will also have an accident within six months of passing their test.

Andrew Jones, who is Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the DfT with responsibility for road safety, was elected the Conservative MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough in May 2010.

Since then has been a Parliamentary Private Secretary on the health, business and transport teams and has also chaired the Northern Electrification Taskforce which advised the Secretary of State for Transport on the next steps for electrification of railways in the North of England. He became road safety minister in May 2015.

In addition to road safety, Mr Jones’ portfolio includes responsibility for local and national roads and Highways England.

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