Learning to drive is a rite of passage for all young people – so could it become part of the school curriculum, similar to sex education?
Schools and colleges prepare young people for the wider world, from finding a job or going onto higher education, to building relationships and being responsible and aware of the consequences of drinking alcohol and taking drugs. So why couldn’t driving education also be squeezed into the timetable?
We were at Gloucestershire County Council’s road safety event at Hartpury College earlier this month and were taken aback by the students’ attitudes to driving education.
Over 93% of those who visited our stand and completed a survey said they thought information about learning to drive should form part of the school curriculum. Most were non-drivers and most felt that some form of classroom knowledge would be a good idea.
Driving education wouldn’t mean parallel parking and emergency stops, but it could mean discussing road safety issues; the implications of poor driving; responsibilities of being a young driver; respect for other road users; driving behaviour; attitudes and issues linked to bad driving.
It makes sense to talk through some of these scenarios in the classroom when current and future provisional driving licence holders can share opinions and discuss their own experiences and thoughts together. I’m absolutely certain it would be a lot more effective than a lecture from mum and dad the day the L plates come off!
We have all been young drivers, setting off on our first solo journey; it was an exciting day but, if we were honest with ourselves, it was also a daunting one.
Only practical experience will make young drivers better on the roads. But wouldn’t it be good to know that they set out equipped with the best possible driving education, thanks to all the useful information they picked up at school?
Hats off to Gloucestershire Safety Partnership – it was a great day and Marmalade was pleased to support it, making the case that education is the first step to insure learner drivers. Possibly one day, these events may not be so necessary as driving education starts to establish itself on the school syllabus in its own right.