Derbyshire road safety partnership honoured with Royal Award
Work to improve driver safety for young motorists by Derbyshire’s road safety partnership has been given the royal seal of approval.
The Derby and Derbyshire Road Safety Partnership’s (DDRSP) Young Driver Education Programme (YDEP) has received a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award.
The DDRSP is a partnership between Derbyshire County Council, Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service and Derbyshire Constabulary.
The awards recognise outstanding contributions to road safety.
The YDEP is aimed at increasing the safety of 16 to 20-year-old drivers by changing their attitudes to driving, positively affecting their driving behaviour.
The programme started in 2007 and involves delivering workshops through schools. Typically 1,600 students take part from 36 out of Derbyshire’s 45 secondary schools and colleges, with a record 2,350 students taking part in 2015.
Issues covered include speed, drink and drug driving, aggressive driving and distractions affecting driving. Because of their experiences, emergency service staff also talk about the after-effects of dealing with collisions.
Research has showed that in Derbyshire in 2007, before the initiative began, there were 635 reported injuries and 10 deaths among young drivers. By 2014 this had fallen to 331 injuries and one death.
Latest figures reported in the Derby and Derbyshire Annual Casualty Report published in October, also showed that the number of young car drivers – aged 17 to 25 – killed or seriously injured fell from 37 in 2014 to 24 in 2015.
And overall, in the area covered by the DDRSP – the county and Derby city roads - the total number of people injured in all age groups fell to a 40 year low of 2,997. The number of people killed was 25 in total, with 324 serious injuries reported, which was the second lowest for the same period.
Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure Councillor Dean Collins, said: “This is an extremely prestigious event in the international road safety calendar and this award is testament to the ongoing commitment over a number of years of our staff and colleagues in the police and fire service to encourage young people to adopt safe driving practices for life.
“While one accident is one too many, it is clear that the downward trend over many decades in the number of casualties is down to a range of initiatives, including education programmes like these, for which we have proudly been acknowledged at the highest level.”
Councillor Collins added, “This programme is not about shock tactics or gory details, but very much about educating and informing young people to keep themselves and their passengers safe by knowing how to deal with risky situations and drive sensibly.”
Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service Prevention and Inclusion Group Manager Mat Lee said: “Over the last 10 years, by working as part of the DDRSP, the service has seen a reduction in the number of road traffic collisions it attends by 26%. This reduction is testament to the hard work undertaken by all members of the partnership and has been achieved thanks to initiatives such as the YDEP. It is an honour for the partnership and the YDEP to be given royal recognition and a privilege to be part of an initiative that is making a difference and making our roads a safer place to be.”
Derbyshire Constabulary’s Head of Roads Policing Unit Chief Inspector Andy Palmer said: “Ultimately our aim is to keep our roads safe and to reduce the number of people who are injured or killed in collisions. Educating young people in this way is one of the ways we strive to achieve that goal and it’s pleasing to see it having an effect and being rightly recognised for it.”