Driving school for teens gets behind News’ campaign

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A DRIVING school for teenagers has given its support to The News’ campaign to get tougher on danger drivers.

Eleven young people last night set themselves up for a lifetime of safe driving after completing a course.

The Driving Project certificate presentation

The Driving Project certificate presentation

The teenagers were taught the rules of the road and how to handle a car as part of The Driving Project, which sees instructors go into schools and give children hands-on experience of safe driving.

They were presented with their certificates by Olympic rower James Foad, who won the bronze medal in the men’s eight at London 2012.

The presentation took place at Hendy Ford, North Harbour. And the team from The Driving Project pledged their support for The News’ campaign for tougher sentences for the offence of death by dangerous driving, which currently carries a 14-year maximum prison sentence.

Matthew Best, from Farlington, co-founder of The Driving Project, said: ‘We are in total support of it.

‘We need to tell people what the consequences are and that you could go to prison. We are going to be using it in our courses.’

The firm is supporting an e-petition to make driving education compulsory in schools. Matthew added: ‘The driving test is too easy basically because of the crash rate we have got.

‘A gradual learning period at school, it sinks in better. The majority of crashes, believe it or not, are down to driver attitude.’

Olympian James said he was sceptical at first of teaching under-17s how to drive.

But he added: ‘Having spoken to the guys, I have changed my opinion.

‘It’s a really good idea, ingraining safe driving, how to handle a car, learning the highway code. Similar to rowing, if you start at a young age, it sticks and it becomes a habit.’

Lewis White, 15, from The Petersfield School, said: ‘It taught me a lot. It’s given me a lot of experience of being safe on the road.’

Holly Whitaker, 16, who attends Brune Park School in Gosport, said: ‘I think this will help so we don’t have crashes in the future.’

Certificates were also presented to: Henry Street, Tyler Rouse, Kelsie Walmsley, Chloe Gundry, Jessica Wegg, Alexander Halliday, Ryan Standen, Rory Claasen, and Dan Grice.

The News’ Get Tough On Danger Drivers campaign was launched following the tragic deaths of Payton Sparks, from Leigh Park, and Olivia Lewry and Jasmine Allsop, from Gosport.