Under 17 Safe Driving promoted at Sparsholt College

Winchester and Chandler’s Ford MP Steve Brine joined Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes at Sparsholt College recently to learn about the safe driving skills programme offered at the College.  Sparsholt College Motor Vehicles students already have access to free lessons in the College dual control car and in conjunction with the Under 17 Car Club are looking to offer intensive driving sessions later on in the year.

Steve Brine said: “This is a really impressive project and once again I am delighted that Sparsholt is really leading the way here.  In short, it’s about getting pre-drivers into a car in 100% safe off-road conditions and getting them used to the vehicle before they even consider applying for a provisional licence.  I know that there is real evidence that accident rates are dramatically reduced, as are the all important insurance costs, which we all know are extremely high for young drivers.”

Sparsholt College has been working with the Under 17 Car Club to promote safe driving skills and attitudes through their continuing programme of voluntary pre-licence driver development events.  In July the College will be offering the Under 17 Car Club Pathfinder Driving Course to any current and new students (starting in September) aged less than 17 years.  This intensive five day driving course will include a session with an advanced motorist such as someone from the military or the emergency services.

Lecturer Dave Andrews explains the importance of offering the course: “We are a rurally based college and although we already have safe driving tutorials we are keen to support the Under 17 Car Club.  Those who attend this club are four times safer on the roads [1] and any of our students who attend the July Pathfinder session will hugely benefit from the course which we hope will make them safer on the roads.  This can only be a good thing so we are very supportive of the programme.”

Last year the College converted a 55 plate Ford Fiesta to dual control vehicle for Motor Vehicle students to drive one day a week. The students only drive the vehicle on Sparsholt College property, away from public roads and only with a lecturer.  Having a driving licence is key to these students’ future success as mechanics and time in the College car is intended to provide hands-on experience which will contribute towards them successfully passing their driving test.

For those interested in finding our more about the Motor Vehicle courses offered at Sparsholt College, there will be a Course Information Day on Saturday 9 March 2013, 10.00am to 3.00pm. Please visit www.sparsholt.ac.uk or call 01962 776441 for further details.


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