Young drivers are being urged to sign up to take part in a major road safety challenge which could earn them the title of ‘Northern Ireland’s Safest Young Driver’, it was announced today (Monday 16th September).
The competition, which will put the driving skills of 15 young drivers aged between 17 and 21 to the test using innovative in-car ‘black box’ technology, is organised by accident services provider CRASH with the full support of all six Further Education colleges and main universities.
The young drivers shortlisted will have their vehicles fitted with Ingenium Dynamics, an award-winning driver behaviour management system which aims to improve driving habits over a 10-week period as part of a wider campaign to promote road safety awareness.
The young driver with the best overall driving score will win £1000 towards their motoring costs. The three participants with the highest scores will receive a Skill for Life course, which includes a one-year membership of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, books and private coaching in preparation for the advanced driver test.
Tony McKeown, Sales and Marketing Director at CRASH, said:
“As Northern Ireland’s leading provider of accident services, we know only too well the devastating impact accidents can have on people’s lives.
Younger drivers in Northern Ireland remain most at risk and most in need of guidance on road safety issues. We hope that this competition will help to raise awareness of those issues in an exciting way that will help to focus their attention and allow them to learn along on the way.”
Iain Greenway, Director of Road Safety and Vehicle Regulation Division in Northern Ireland, said he hoped the competition would help to improve road safety awareness and driving skills among this key age group.
“Young drivers are overrepresented in official collision and casualty statistics for Northern Ireland and, despite recent progress, there is still much more to do to help reduce these numbers further .
Road Safety awareness is crucial in reducing collisions. The Department welcomes any opportunity that has the potential to promote positive driving behaviour. Drivers are responsible for the majority of collisions and improving their attitudes and behaviours is the most effective way of protecting all road users. Keeping young drivers safe as they develop their skills and gain experience is one of the DOE’s top priorities.”
Helping to launch the competition at UTV studios, UTV presenter Frank Mitchell said the competition would grab the attention of Northern Ireland’s young drivers and called on them to sign up to take part:
“Younger drivers are often deemed a higher risk on our roads, particularly by insurers. However, there are many talented, confident and skilled young drivers out there and I’m confident that this competition will go some way to demonstrating just how good our young drivers can be.
The exciting technology which is being installed in these vehicles will prove that beyond doubt and I’m really looking forward to meeting the winner when the results are in. It really is a fantastic opportunity for this generation to show itself at its best.
Once installed inside the vehicle, the ‘black box’ continuously measures speed, geo-positioning, braking force, rate of acceleration and severity of cornering. The data is transmitted by a SIM card to a central computer where it is processed and assessment is made as to whether the driving behaviour is low, medium or high risk.
The competition is open to eligible young drivers aged between 17 and 21 who meet the required qualifying criteria and have their applications returned by the closing date of November 1st 2013.