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Campaign launched for addition of motoring safety to the school curriculum

A new question has arisen in the world of motoring. Should teenagers be taught the basics of motoring safety in school before they’re old enough to hit the road?

Book Theory Test Today says: “It’s no secret that motoring accidents involving young drivers receive widespread publicity, leading to discussions over a graduated driver licencing system. However, a new campaign has been launched to add road safety to the school curriculum, highlighting the importance of motoring safety before teenagers get behind the wheel.”

Is introducing motoring safety to the school curriculum a good idea?

In theory, yes. Learning to drive is a goal of most young people, particularly because of the independence it brings. However, becoming a motorist is fraught with dangers for young people and this is evidenced by the high car insurance premiums that young motorists are hit with.

Book Theory Test Today says: “If increasing awareness of motoring safety means putting it on the school curriculum, then it’s a step that should be taken, surely. Campaigners reckon that education on motoring should have a place in school life and we’re inclined to agree.”

The campaign, which has been launched by Young Drivers – a European-wide organisation – is a petition to see the inclusion of motoring safety on the curriculum and taught to pupils in schools. Campaigners say that introducing motoring safety to the curriculum would save around 400 lives each year.

Substantial support

The petition has received substantial backing from some major organisations across the motoring world, including the RAC, which stated that providing students with a ‘head-start on road-safety awareness’ would not only benefit young drivers, but all drivers.

RAC spokesman, Simon Williams, said: “Statistics published by the Department for Transport [DfT] reveal those young drivers aged 16-19 are twice as likely to die in a crash as those aged 40-49.”

He added: “It’s the RAC’s belief that educating and engaging children at an early age on the issue of motoring safety will better prepare them for life on Britain’s roads. Bringing motoring to the classroom could potentially inspire a new wave of confident, clued-up young drivers and reduce the worryingly high casualty rate among young motorists.”

Staffordshire County Council has also shown its support for the petition, pointing to its own education programmes to increase road safety awareness among schoolchildren.

Councillor Mark Deaville, Staffordshire’s cabinet support member for highways and transport said: “We’re already working with children and young people to promote motoring safety and responsible road use.”

Chris Bloor of Hatchell School of Motoring, said: “I’ve been teaching youngsters to drive for over 50 years and I back the move to have driving know-how added to the school curriculum.”

He added: “Most teenagers are unaware of road dangers and probably don’t open a Highway Code until they need to prepare for their theory test. I’d be happy to see more schools talking about the issue as it would make our roads safer.”

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