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DriveStart receives Royal recognition

14 November 2017

For the last few years, Safer Roads Berkshire have been developing a young driver programme that embraces a more scientific approach to improving safety for those who attend.

Traditional road safety programmes have often sought to use crash scenes with devastating consequences to challenge young people’s thinking, in an attempt to reduce their risk. There is little evidence, however, that this has any real effect when they are driving for themselves.

So, the team behind Safer Roads Berkshire set about building a new programme that focuses on reinforcement of positive behaviour and reducing the perception that the majority of drivers speed, drink or use their mobile whilst driving.

DriveStart Experience Days which take place during school holidays at the Madejski Stadium complex, give young people an opportunity to spend time with a qualified driving instructor, but also in a car maintenance workshop, simulators, games and discussion activities that develop their understanding about what it means to be a good driver.

The programme has matured into a strong partnership initiative involving Reading FC Community Trust, Kwik Fit, Admiral Young Driver and the Safer Roads team.

The Prince Michael International Road Safety Award , which will be received by some of the team behind the new DriveStart programme at The National Road Safety Conference in Manchester, is presented in recognition of their contribution to improving road safety.

Speaking about the programme, Dan Campsall, Director of Communications said, “We take many powerful cues from what we perceive to be the normal behaviour of others. By challenging the idea that it is quite normal to engage in risky or illegal behaviour we are helping these young drivers to set a good baseline for themselves. We now have a great partnership of organisations that are committed to improving safety for young drivers and will be looking to expand the programme.”

His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent approved the recommendation of the Judging Panel that DriveStart should receive an award.

The judges concluded that the nomination “showed a solid record of achievement in the high priority area of the young driver with scope for wider application.”

The award was presented by Adrian Walsh, Executive Director for RoadSafe who administer the awards on behalf of HRH Prince Michael of Kent.


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