Young driver pilot project hailed a success

Some of the S6 pupils get ready for driving instruction.
Some of the S6 pupils get ready for driving instruction.

Organisers say they are delighted withn the feedback from a pilot project aimed at keeping young drivers safe on North-east roads.

Retired police inspector Alan Brown arranged a two-day education programme for sixth year pupils at Ellon Academy last week.

Mr Brown - a former operational head of the former Grampian Police road safety unit - is keen to fill the gap left by the loss of the award-winning Driving Ambition road safety education programme, which was delivered by the force to senior pupils in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray.

Mr Brown is training development manager with DAB Plus Driver Training at Maud, who facilitated the course on Wednesday and Thursday.

He told the Times: “We set out to convey safe driving messages to the students, using different tools to get these over in a fun way.

“We wanted to ensure they all understood that driving could be dangerous if approached in the wrong way, the consequences impacting way beyond anything they had previously considered, but that it was also fun and gave individual freedom if done with common sense and safety at the back of their minds.

“Initial feedback was very encouraging from the students. They all enjoyed the various inputs, learning and refreshing knowledge as they went.

“It was deemed very worthwhile, and certainly something worth repeating in future years at the school.”

Mr Brown said he had been contacted by two other schools as a result of the Ellon pilot, looking to discuss and present the project.

He added: “The students appear to have gained something from the day, depending on individual previous knowledge and the approach from other schools seeking to deliver the project has been excellent.

“It proves what I knew already – that this is an important education input, which is being missed by many who have experienced it previously when the police delivered it.”

Acting Rector at Ellon Academy, Linda Duthie, said: “It has been fantastic to see how well the S6 pupils have engaged with the programme.

“It is crucial that today’s young people are aware of the potential dangers on the roads and this initiative looks at ways of ensuring they are effectively equipped with the skills to ensure that driving is safe for all concerned.”