PCC Mark Shelford supported Weston & Mendip Advanced Motorists’ Group in the launch of their Young Advanced Driver (YDA) initiative after the organisation received funding from Avon and Somerset Police Road Safety Fund.
The Weston & Mendip Advanced Motorists’ Group was formed in 1983 to improve the standard of driving in North Somerset and the surrounding area, and is affiliated to the charity IAM RoadSmart. The group provides driving advice and guidance through its team of volunteer observers to help drivers improve their concentration, observation and planning skills, which improves their overall safety on the roads.
The grant will allow the group to provide up to 20 fully funded IAM advanced driving courses for drivers aged 25 or under who live in Bristol, Somerset or North Somerset. Young drivers will benefit from a series of observed runs with a qualified observer who will provide driving advice and guidance whilst preparing them to take the Advanced Driving Challenge. Those who complete the course will also gain access to a members-only insurance scheme – IAM Surety – that may lower their premium as well as access to other lifestyle and leisure benefits.
To apply for a place on the YDA scheme, please contact the organisation via firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their Facebook page WestonIAM.
PCC Mark Shelford said: “It was brilliant to meet with the organisation and to find out more about the YAD initiative, which is a great example of how to innovatively use the Road Safety Fund. The organisation’s scheme is about prevention; providing advice and skills to young drivers before they are involved in any potential accidents. We all need to ensure that our roads are safe for everyone who is using them so I actively encourage young people to take part in this course to gain skills on how to be a better driver.
“I know that the Police Community Trust want to say yes to as many local organisations as possible who want to help us keep our roads safe. If you think your group or organisation has an idea of how you can help make our roads safer, please apply!”
Group Chair of Weston and Mendip Advanced Motorists’ Group John Teasdale added: “We are delighted to receive grant funding from the Avon and Somerset Police Community Trust in support of our YDA scheme. Young drivers aged 17-25 are disproportionately represented in crash statistics due to lack of driving experience, peer pressure and poor decisions linked to inappropriate attitudes or behaviours.
“IAM RoadSmart courses provider driving advice and guidance to compensate for a lack of post-test experience and help reduce the risk of young drivers being killed or seriously injured. The generous grant we’ve received will ensure more young drivers can benefit from taking the advanced driving challenge.”
PC Dan Cox from Avon and Somerset Police’s Roads Policing Unit said: “This initiative represents a unique opportunity for young people and will fill the void where the young driver lacks experience and decision-making capability. I would encourage local people, especially parents, to see this as a standard course for young adults to take when they start driving to ensure they fully understand how to be safe on our roads.”
The Road Safety Fund is administered by the Police Community Trust and is intended to help communities by preventing fatalities and serious injuries caused by road traffic incidents. The fund is open to local community and voluntary organisations in the Avon and Somerset Police force area and groups can apply for grants of up to £5,000. For further information about the grant and how to apply, visit: https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/apply/police-community-trust/road-safety-fund/