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Police Commissioner celebrates the success of award-winning young driver programme

MORE than 3,500 young people aged 16 and over have learnt how to become better drivers thanks to an online learning toolkit funded by Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite.

Since September 2018, Cambs Drive iQ has been rolled out in 23 schools and colleges, with five more booked to start in the coming months. In March, the programme was delivered to students at Peterborough University Campus, demonstrating how Cambs Drive iQ is going from strength to strength to support young people in the community.

The locally tailored, award-winning programme which began in 2017, aims to reduce the number of young people involved in incidents and crashes on the roads by preparing them to become better and safer drivers – many before they even get behind a wheel.

In a virtual world the staff from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Road Safety Partnership can put young people in a range of driving situations. Students have access to more than 120 video scenarios filmed on local roads and can experience actual challenges they might face around the county.

The programme was funded from the Commissioner’s Casualty Reduction and Support Fund as part of a range of initiatives to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on the county’s roads.

“The harsh reality is that one in five new drivers has a crash within 12 months of passing their test,” said Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite, “I am determined to make raising standards on the roads as a priority.”

He added: “I am delighted to see Cambs Drive iQ being so well received by young people across the county. It is a good way to influence attitudes towards driving in a classroom environment and should arm our young drivers with everything they need to know to stay safe on the roads.”

Cheryl Morgan, Road Safety Officer for Cambridgeshire County Council, says Cambs Drive iQ offers pre and novice drivers the opportunity to improve their hazard perception and manage risk and responsibility as a driver and a passenger without ‘risking’ overconfidence.

She explains: “The first module is delivered in school or college by the Cambs Drive iQ teams. The rest are completed in students’ own time with the opportunity to win a either a two-hour driving lesson or a day with the Police and Fire Service. Schools and Colleges are supporting the project by encouraging their students to complete the remaining modules and booking dates for new students in the next academic year. The feedback from students so far has been positive.”

The programme was nationally recognised in 2018 at the ‘FirstCar Young Driver Road Safety awards’ ceremony, winning the ‘Best Education and Training Initiative’ category and being highly commended in the ‘Best Partnership Scheme’ category. It was described as a ‘truly excellent programme’ which is ‘evidence based and real world oriented.’

For more information on the programme visit: