Course helps drive the message home

Project Engage : Richard Eaton, safer roads education officer, and Andrew Love, driving instructor
Project Engage : Richard Eaton, safer roads education officer, and Andrew Love, driving instructor

Driving instructors have been taught how to prepare their pupils for life on the road once they have passed their tests in a course run by Northamptonshire Police.

More than 40 instructors from across the county took part in the Engage training sessions, which teach them how to make learner drivers aware of issues which do not come up on the test – such as how to cope with peer pressure, stress and fatigue while driving.

Andrew Love, who is both a driving instructor and a volunteer with Northamptonshire Police, helped organise the event.

He said: “Teaching somebody to pass a driving test covers how to actually drive a vehicle safely. This course shows instructors how to teach their pupils to drive on their own in the real world.

“When young people are out driving by themselves, there’s often a lot going on and we need to teach them how to cope with things like peer pressure from their friends in the car and what to do if they feel tired while they’re driving.

“I think all of the instructors who took part in the course found it very useful.”

Latest figures released by Northamptonshire Police show the number of drivers aged 17 to 25 killed on the county’s roads fell from a total of six in 2010 to one last year.

The number of young people injured on the roads also fell from a high of 277 in 2009 to 171 last year.

Driving expert, Ian Edwards, led the Engage courses which ran in in Corby on Monday (March 10) and in Northampton.

He said: “The course is all about teaching young drivers to deal with the pressures they don’t face on a driving test, because in real life they’re going to have to deal with these issues.”

After taking part in the course, the driving instructors pass on advice and tips to their students through discussions in the car and by setting simple tasks between lessons.

For more information on the Engage project, including a list of driving instructors who have taken part in the course, visit