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Friday, 19 December 2014

Young Scots offered free advanced driving tuition opportunity

Scottish Borders Council is encouraging families to consider giving an alternative Christmas present in the form of an advanced driver course from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

Any driver under 26 years of age living in the Scottish Borders can take part in the four session scheme sponsored by Scottish Borders Council (SBC), and once the driver has passed, the course fee of £149 is refunded in full.

A further 14 young drivers; hailing from communities such as Duns, Galashiels, Newcastleton and Selkirk, passed the IAM scheme this month and received their certificates at Eildon Mill in Tweedbank.

Pat Doughty, IAM operations director said: "Congratulations to the latest young motorists to have passed our advanced driver course. The course not only helps improve their skills and anticipation, but also confidence, which means driving can be a more enjoyable experience. Over 400,000 have taken the advanced driver course across the UK, and it would be a great idea to pay for a family member or friend to sit the course as a Christmas present."

The scheme, which began earlier this year and is supported by former British Touring Car champion John Cleland, aims to cut the number of serious injuries and deaths involving young drivers on the region's roads. It has attracted interest from other councils in Scotland which are keen to start a similar scheme.

The IAM is fully committed to initiatives that reduce the number of injuries and deaths of young people on the roads.

In 2013, 876 young men and 414 young women were killed or seriously injured (KSI) as drivers between the ages of 17 and 24 in Britain. While these are the lowest ever KSI figures recorded in Britain in this category, the IAM feels these figures are still completely unacceptable with new drivers far more likely to cause their passengers' death than any other age group.  New drivers and their passengers also have far more life changing catastrophic crashes with lifelong injuries than any other age group.

Paul Richardson, SBC's Community Safety Officer, added: "These young people now have skills which ensure they will be safer drivers, which will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

"Signing someone up for an advanced driver scheme would be a valuable Christmas gift. Along with additional skills, there is also the potential for cheaper car insurance and when the young driver passes, you will be refunded."

The next scheduled start dates for the course are Tuesday 10 and Sunday 15 March 2015, with other dates available throughout the year.

Anyone wishing to sign up on the advanced driver course should phone on 0300 303 1137. Further information is also available at www.iam.org.uk/skillforlife or www.scotborders.gov.uk/skillforlife

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