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Wednesday 05 December 2018, 1:10 PM
  • Latest research again shows the value of novice drivers going through the Pathfinder driving course.
  • Graduates of the programme are more than 3.5 times safer than their peers with an accident rate of only 6% across multiple years of driving.
  • In addition, only 2% of students report being convicted of a traffic offence compared to an annual conviction rate of 13.6% and a national average of 24%
  • Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl said “I made Safe and social driving a priority to reduce the death toll on our roads and I am delighted the Pathfinder programme continues to be delivered to young people”.

It was one of the first projects to be supported by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC). Now, new research has once again shown how the Pathfinder driving initiative is helping to save young lives in Gloucestershire.

What Pathfinder is all about

A survey carried out by the Under 17 Car Club Charitable Trust and validated by Loughborough University, indicated that participation in the Pathfinder young driver education programme reduces the 1st year of driving accident risk to 1 in 17 compared with 1 in 5 nationally (DfT).

It also generated findings consistent with prior surveys in 2014 (Pathfinder), 2012 and 2006 (The Under 17 Car Club).

One to one instruction.....

The data, which covers nearly 20 years of participants for both Car Club and Pathfinder, shows that graduates of the Pathfinder initiative are significantly less likely to be involved in accidents, or to be injured, than the general population of young drivers.

Graduates of the programme are more than 3.5 times safer than their peers, with an accident rate of only 6% across multiple years of driving. In addition, only 2% of students report being convicted of a traffic offence compared to an annual conviction rate of 13.6% and a national average of 24% of drivers with impaired licences.

...and in the classroom

PCC Martin Surl said, “I made ‘Safe and social driving’ one of my police and crime plan priorities to try and reduce the number of fatal and serious injury accidents on our roads, particularly those involving new and young drivers. Pathfinder plays an important part in that.

“These findings support the Trust’s view that appropriately structured and delivered pre-licence driver training, which focuses on developing appropriate attitudes alongside with technical skill, delivers significant safety benefits to this vulnerable group.

“Ultimately, we want to ensure that Pathfinder graduates are Safe at 17. Last year, I confirmed funding for The Under 17 Car Club  and I am delighted the programme continues to be delivered to thousands of young people in Gloucestershire”.

The Pathfinder initiative is for rising 17s (15-17). It takes the Under 17 Car Club philosophy and methodology and compresses these into an intensive, exciting and high impact four or five-day programme blending learning with fun to deliver key messages about road safety, risk awareness and safe attitudes.

Getting to grips with 'Push and Pull'

Chair of Trustees, Paul Silverwood, said “This latest survey is entirely consistent with previous surveys of our graduates. It proves that the disproportionately high numbers of young driver deaths, injuries and collisions are avoidable by applying the appropriate non-traditional training and education. If the Pathfinder programme was adopted nationally, the country would save £Billions in addition to the avoidance of family grief.”

Putting theory into practice 

In 2019 Pathfinder will be running events near Gloucestershire at venues in Malvern, Worcestershire (February, July and October) and Seighford, Staffordshire (April and October) coinciding with local school holidays. Full information is available at www.under17driver.co.uk.

The mark of success that will also help keep them safe on the road

Background – statistics for road casualties amongst novice drivers

The Under 17 Car Club Charitable Trust is unique in addressing the challenge that approximately 1 in 5 novice drivers (DfT statistics) are involved in a reportable collision during their first year on the road post DVSA test. The Trust is the only organisation to offer the methodology, duration and parental engagement with pre-licence drivers which are fundamental to achieving the outcomes. The combination of skills, knowledge, competencies and experience required to provide a programme like Pathfinder are not available to young people through commercial routes.

Prior surveys in 2006 and 2012 (Car Club) and 2014 (Pathfinder) reveal an accident rate of 1 in 16 and 1 in 17, many times better than the national average.

 

General Public

Car Club Combined

Pathfinder Survey 2014

Pathfinder Survey 2018

1st Year Accident Rate

1 in 5

1 in 16

1 in 17

1 in 17

DSA Test Pass Rate (X/1)

46%

89%

N/A

N/A

DSA Test Pass Rate (All)

46%

79%

53%

63%

Points on Licence

14.3%

4%

0%

6%

Pass Plus Participation

15%

37%

12%

8%

IAM/RoSPA Rate

0.5%

9%

N/A

0%

 

 

 

 

 

 

These surveys show that participants are about 3.5 times safer than their peers. Critically, members also report a much lower motoring offence conviction rate with only one individual reporting an offence, a rate of 2% compared with 24% for all drivers. (http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/motorists-with-driving-convictions-rife-on-british-roads-179962241.html)

These findings are encouraging and evidence the Trust’s belief that appropriately structured and delivered pre-licence driver development, which focuses on developing an appropriate risk-aware attitude as well as technical skill, delivers significant safety benefits to this vulnerable group. The sustained beneficial effect of attending Pathfinder in contributing to a reduction in collisions and casualties is becoming clear.

About the Under 17 Car Club

The Under 17 Car Club (U17CC) was founded by children’s author Sandy Barrie and racing driver Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams in 1976 to offer a safe, organised environment in which children with an interest in driving, cars and motorsport could learn to drive and practice their skills.

Four decades later U17CC, through its ‘Car Club’ and ‘Pathfinder’ initiatives, continues to offer parents and guardians (“Associates”) safe venues where they can bring their children (“Members”) to learn to drive, following a graduated curriculum over a number of years between the ages of 11 and 18. It is designed to develop driving competence equivalent to IAM F1RST or RoSPA Gold advanced driver standard.

The U17CC Charitable Trust is a volunteer-run organisation that offers a methodology delivered by skilled Roadcraft instructors. The Club operates at 9 different sites offering around 35 weekend events each year. It welcomes young people from all walks of life.

Since 1976 over 4,000 pre-licence drivers and their Associates have developed positive attitudes to road safety and high levels of driving skill with the Club.

The Under 17 Car Club Charitable Trust provides a range of experiences to develop young drivers. Having celebrated its fortieth year in 2016, the Under 17 Car Club offers a direct path for young people to progress from their first experience behind the wheel to being recognised as some of the best drivers on the road today. Once they have mastered the family car, there are opportunities to fine tune their vehicle control on a skid pan. First Aid, motorways, night driving, and learning to operate the latest double decker buses and 44-tonne articulated lorries are all part of the training. Membership can cost as little at £8.68 for a driving day – that’s just £1.45 an hour!

Further information:

Pathfinder Website: www.under17driver.co.uk

Email: john@under17driver.co.uk      Tel. 07786 510060

The Under 17 Car Club Charitable Trust: www.u17ccctrust.org

Email:  info@u17ccctrust.org

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