Road safety is an issue that affects everyone in Scotland, whether as drivers, passengers, cyclists or pedestrians. So, it is essential to ensure that, as far as possible, we can all use the roads in safety.
There has been an steady reduction in the number of people killed and injured on Scottish roads over the past 40 years. However, casualty numbers remain the highest among young adults. While 17 to 25-year-olds account for only ten per cent of licence holders, they cause more than 20 per cent of accidents. Every week in Scotland, an average of 54 accidents involve a driver aged 17-25.
Unfortunately, L-plate drivers do not necessarily regard becoming safer drivers as their first priority. Often the primary focus is on passing first time. But 52 per cent of learners do not achieve this goal. Being a safe driver and passing first time is not mutually exclusive.
We have also found that learners are unaware of the New Drivers Act, which results in new drivers having their licence revoked if they acquire six or more points within the first two years of passing their test.
Another major concern is that so many L-plate and novice drivers are unaware of the fact that driving under the influence of drugs carries exactly the same potential penalties as drink driving.
Our Good Egg Drivers initiative was designed to reach exactly this kind of audience in a style and language they can relate to. It has been developed by leading educationalists to help reduce the high numbers of young driver/passenger casualties in the UK.
Good Egg Safety is headquartered in Edinburgh and has already helped thousands of learner and novice drivers, as well as their anxious parents. We are supported by many leading road safety organisations, including Road Safety GB, RoadSafe, and Brake, as well as the Arnold Clark Group. Additionally, we are backed by Scottish Sun Rookie Racer, Christie Doran, 20, who visits schools and colleges with our team and aids the highly-interactive sessions.
We provide full-day workshops, in which we visit local schools and colleges with the aim of increasing students’ knowledge about the importance of good driving practices.
Since we launched five years ago, we have invested £500,000 into our programme. The most recent element of that has been a revamp of the Good Egg Drivers website where all our resources can be accessed for free.
The statistics are undeniably alarming, however, we believe the support Good Egg Drivers provides can make a real difference. We are now running special showcase events across the UK, so we can help reduce the appalling casualty figures and save as many young lives as possible.
Jan James is chief executive of Good Egg Drivers