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New skills course to aid novice drivers

Published 12/11/2009

The world's first qualification designed to make young novices safer drivers and reduce deaths on the roads has been unveiled here.

New education software is being made available through schools to every 16-year-old in the country. It provides the foundation for a BTEC in driving science.

Environment Minister Edwin Poots said: “Being able to manoeuvre a vehicle is only part of the story.

“Developing a mature attitude and behaviours and having respect for other road users, assisted by exciting new learning interventions like this, is what is absolutely key to becoming a safe driver for life.”

The initiative has been introduced by driver education company a2om. More than 200 driving instructors have retrained to deliver the course.

A2om chief executive Nicholas Rowley said: “Northern Ireland is leading the way in the UK by providing driver education to every 16 year old.

“The BTEC in driving science will provide a learner driver with not only a higher level of driver training, but also a qualification and potential insurance benefits.”

Statistics show one in five new drivers crash within a year of passing their test.

Mr Rowley added: “Our training is founded on a simple but compelling goal — to teach people to be safe drivers for life.”

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From Belfast Telegraph