Driving charities the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and the Under 17 Car Club (U17CC) have combined efforts, allowing young drivers a unique pathway to safe and enjoyable driving before even passing their test.
The partnership, which was launched this week, will make the Under 17 Car Club Charitable Trust an IAM approved training organisation.
The U17CC celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. It is dedicated to ensuring young people get the best grounding in driving skills before they reach their 17th birthday.
Its members meet most Sundays at a variety of locations around the UK including Bovington Camp, Dorset; Castle Combe circuit; Caerwent in Monmouthshire; Devon Drivers’ Centre in Clyst-St-Mary; Long Marston Airfield, Warwickshire; Moreton-in-March, Worcestershire and Throckmorton Airfield, Warwickshire, where they learn to drive in a safe off-road environment from the age of 11.
Paul Silverwood, president of the Under 17 Car Club, said: “This is a remarkable opportunity for the leading young driver charity to work alongside the leading charity for experienced advanced motorists. We will offer the IAM the very best of a younger generation of enthusiastic advanced drivers. We will provide opportunities for existing IAM members and their families to get involved in driving in a safe environment. And we will share the experience of the best specialist instructors and proven learning methods developed over decades.”
Shaun Cronin, IAM regional quality manager, said: “For a young person getting behind the wheel years before they can legally take to the road is a one-off opportunity. But this is about having fun too – our members get the opportunity to spend their Sundays driving a wide variety of cars, lorries and buses – and even learning advanced skills on a race track.
“The bottom line is this: working together with the IAM, the Under 17 Car Club can prevent a lot of crashes and, hopefully, we can save young lives.”
The IAM has long campaigned for greater resources to be put into initiatives targeting younger drivers, who are the most at-risk group on our roads.
Road accidents remain the biggest killer of young people in the UK. In 2013 there were 191 people under 24 killed and 20,003 injured as drivers and riders of cars and motorbike
In the past five years (2009-13) there were 1,037 people under 24 killed and 120,958 injured on UK roads as drivers and riders (1).