SAFETY on the roads was the message in a scheme that saw school pupils getting behind the wheel.
Youngsters at Warblington School are picking up basic driving skills such as steering, changing gears and car maintenance.
The teenagers have not got a provisional licence, but are able to drive legally on the school’s private grounds with an approved driving instructor. The lessons took place in the school’s car park and tennis court.
The scheme, aimed at improving safety awareness for young drivers, has been made possible through a £1,500 grant from county councillor Ray Bolton, who represents Havant and Emsworth.
The donation helped to subsidise the lessons.
Each pupil paid £30 for six hours of theory and driving practice spread over three weeks.
The learner driver was accompanied by an instructor and two other pupils in the back seat.
Gabby Payne, 16, from Bedhampton, said: ‘It was fun because I was with my closest friends who I trust.
‘We had the tennis nets up and we had to drive in and out of them – I enjoyed doing that.’
Christian Smith, 15, from Havant, said: ‘It’s been fun. We had to do the pedals, steering, how to set up the car, and gears. I will be better prepared for driving in the real world.’
Katie Linton, 16, from Emsworth, said: ‘It was scary at first because I did not have a lot of experience, but the instructor was good.
‘It was funny when you were sitting in the back and someone stalled or they drove too fast and braked too hard.’
Megan Miles, 16, from Emsworth, said: ‘It was hard to do the emergency stop. This helps us when we are older and will make us more aware.’
Joel Coloma, 16, from Emsworth, said: ‘I enjoy accelerating. They have taught us to check our mirrors.’
The school is hoping to repeat the project.
Roland Barnard, head of Years 10 and 11, said: ‘All the pupils coming out of the lessons are buzzing because they have enjoyed the experience.
‘When they get to 17 and start to drive, it can only be a good thing for them.’