Wokingham Borough Council’s, young drivers’ programme Drivestart has won the Road Safety Award at Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation’s (CIHT) Awards, fighting off competition from the other shortlisted entries from Atkins, Scotland TranServ and Transport for London.
Drivestart is part of successful initiative ‘Safer Roads Berkshire’, that is a partnership made up of Wokingham Borough Council, West Berkshire Council and Windsor and Maidenhead Council. It is a one day pre-driver course for 15 to 19-year-olds who are applying for their provisional driving licence.
Launched in 2011, Drivestart is part of the councils’ initiative to make roads safer and reduce the number of casualties in the area and, alongside West Berkshire and Windsor and Maidenhead, Wokingham Borough Council is one of the first local authorities to take up the programme.
Cllr Anthony Pollock, interim executive member for transport and highways said, “Our Drivestart programme continues to go from strength to strength and we are thrilled that we are continuing to receive recognition from industry leaders such as the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation
“It is our aim that we help the younger people of our borough to develop better driving habits and teach them to be mindful of other road users to help improve road safety in Wokingham Borough.”
Throughout the course of the day students take part in a number of interactive sessions including car maintenance and tips on buying their first car, as well as a driving simulation to develop the hazard perception skills. They are also offered the opportunity to get behind the wheel for real.
Presented by the (CIHT), the John Smart Road Safety Award is in recognition of the CIHT’s former director of technical affairs, who passed away suddenly in 2012.
The judges said: “What was particularly refreshing about this entry was that it was evidence-based in respect of behavioural change techniques. This entry clearly demonstrated what interventions did work, whilst recognising areas where the evidence was insufficient to show measurable benefits.
“The range of metrics used to measure success, and the recording of evidence of change, as well as the statistical significance of that change, is unusual and particularly welcome.”
DriveStart previously won a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in 2017 and was named ‘Best Partnership Scheme’ at the 2018 FirstCar Young Driver Road Safety Awards.
The next Drivestart course will take place on 26 July at Madejski Stadium. Further details can be found by visiting the Drivestart website.