Shropshire pupil beats hundreds to win safe driving competition

A pupil at a Shropshire school has beaten hundreds of other youngsters nationwide to win £2,000 worth of driving lessons by proving his skill behind the wheel in an online driving competition.

Sixteen-year-old Alex Wood, who goes to Thomas Telford School, took part in the Goodyear Driving Academy when it arrived at his school earlier this year.

It was the first time the leading tyre manufacturer had brought their road safety initiative to the county when around 30 pupils at Thomas Telford took part in the scheme last June.

The Driving Academy looks at early driver education by getting children as young as 11 behind the wheel of a car whilst bringing the Highway Code into the classroom through an interactive online programme.

Pupils also use their hazard perception skills in the online academy and receive a score depending on how well they perform.  The top 50 made the leaderboard in the competition which was launched last March.  Alex won with a score of 4,310.

The Year 11 pupil, from Fallings Park, Wolverhampton, has now won 40 driving lessons up to the value of £2,000. The lessons cover a range of pre and post-17 tuition in conjunction with Goodyear’s partner Young Driver who specialise in driver training for children aged 11 and upwards. The package will enable Alex to start to learn before he gets to the age of 17 and see him through to his test on the open road.

Michelle Fisher, Goodyear Brand Manager, said: “We launched our pioneering Driving Academy programme in 2012 to educate children about the importance of road safety by placing a real emphasis on understanding the Highway Code.

“Instead of placing restrictions on young drivers, which is currently being discussed by the Government, which could simply delay bad behaviour, Goodyear wants to address road-user attitudes and driving behaviour through education from a younger age.

“We are thrilled by the reception our Driving Academy gets whenever it visits a school.  The pupils learn a lot from it and obviously get very excited about the chance to drive a car.  Over a thousand pupils have benefited from the programme across the UK and we believe they have all taken away valuable lessons in safe driving – lessons we hope they will put into practice when they actually become learner drivers.

“The online programme has been very well received, we have had great feedback from pupils and we send our congratulations to Alex on achieving such a high score.”

Telford MP David Wright said: “I am absolutely delighted that Goodyear brought its Driving Academy to Telford.  Anything that helps to cut accidents among young drivers and reduce insurance premiums can only be good news.  I hope to see the Driving Academy back in Telford soon.”

Sir Kevin Satchwell, headteacher at Thomas Telford School, in Telford, said: “We take road safety very seriously and welcome these schemes as they can help prepare young people for the huge responsibility of driving a vehicle.”

Tomorrow (Tuesday January 14) Crash Course, a multi-agency road safety presentation run in conjunction with Staffordshire emergency services, will visit the school to speak to sixth-form pupils looking at issues surrounding young drivers and their passengers.








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