Sunday, 21 February 2010
I can only vouch personally for maybe a couple of dozen young people who have driven safely for years, following experience at the wheel before 17. Like my brothers I was driving from about 11. By 13 I was driving on quiet roads. Our children, except perhaps Charlotte, were all desperate to get into the driving seat as soon as they could reach the pedals. They are now exemplary drivers. It can’t be coincidence.
Today the Association of British Drivers has drawn attention to dismal Jimmies at the BBC, ROSPA and the police, critical of Young Driver training sponsored by SEAT, Admiral Insurance and Pirelli. No surprise the PC BBC fretting, but ROSPA was not always so negative. The police really ought to know better. When I wrote The Sunday Times column on Earlydrive it had support among others from Cheshire Road Safety Unit. Charlotte and Anne have both had nearly 20 years without accidents, Anne’s mileage rather higher than Charlotte’s, Joanna and Jane likewise. Number One son Craig drives across Continents. He has also navigated large yachts safely across oceans but that is something else.
I nearly got The Sunday Times into promoting a nationwide Earlydrive scheme in the 1990s with sponsorship from a major manufacturer, which took fright over worries about instructors’ proximity to young female drivers. Let us hear support for the SEAT Admiral Pirelli Young Drivers initiative. Earlydrive and others set a fine example. Note to Craig, etc. Don’t break the safety spell now…
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BBC Story - "Fears as children aged 11 take driving lessons"