The 2008 Coventry and Warwickshire Young Driver of the Year Competition sponsored by Peugeot began the search for the region’s best young driver today, and with a brand new, taxed and fully insured, Peugeot 107 up for grabs, the competition is expected to be hotly contested. This is the second year that Peugeot has sponsored this important initiative.
Organisers are searching for exceptional young people to enter the competition; drivers aged 17-21 who can demonstrate a responsible attitude, an ability and desire to improve their driving, a willingness to listen to feedback and to learn quickly from the experts will have a chance of winning. An assured and confident driving manner, the capability to handle a vehicle under pressure and in challenging environments, and consistently high standards in a range of driving situations will also be judged.
The competition is run by Warwickshire County and Coventry City Council’s Road Safety Teams with the support of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, MIRA, and the sponsorship of Peugeot to encourage safe driving practices amongst young people and reduce casualty numbers within this group. In 2006, 25% of car occupants killed on UK roads were aged 17-21.
Young drivers aged 17-21 can enter by completing and returning an entry form available at locations across the region including schools, colleges and libraries, by filling in a form online at: www.coventry.gov.uk/youngdrivercompetition . The entry form contains three multiple choice questions and a tiebreaker in which the entrants will need to convince the judges that they deserve to be the 2008 Coventry and Warwickshire Young Driver of the Year. The closing date for entries is September 15 2008.
Cllr Martin Heatley, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this competition again; an initiative now in its second year that is giving the participating young drivers knowledge and skills that will help them stay safe throughout their driving careers.”
Cllr Kevin Foster, from Coventry City Council became a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists when he was 19 and said: “This is an excellent example of a major company working with local groups to improve road safety. This will help get young drivers focused on road safety and hopefully encourage more to look at going on to improve their driving skills by becoming advanced motorists themselves.”
Peugeot’s Managing Director Pierre Louis Colin said: “If this initiative prevents one accident or serious injury it will be worth our three year investment in younger drivers.”
Mick Lacey, Coventry & District Group of the Institute of Advanced Motorists said “This initiative is aimed squarely at younger drivers, who are most at risk when they first get behind the wheel. We congratulate the organisers and are pleased to be a part of the team.”
MIRA’s spokesman Richard Adams enthused: “MIRA’s focus on safety began back in the 50’s when we opened the UK’s first crash lab …and as the reigning ‘Crash Test Team of the Year’ we couldn’t be more committed to improving all aspects of safety. But this initiative achieves goals that crumple-zones & airbags never will, as it addresses the fundamental causes of accidents. That’s why we’re proud to host this event and implore young drivers to take up the challenge.”
The 2007 competition attracted hundreds of entries, but it was 21 year old Sean Oliver from Southam, Warwickshire who took home the title of Young Driver of the Year along with a brand new Peugeot 1007. Sean said: “I was so pleased I entered the competition. I won a fabulous brand new Peugeot 1007, had a lot of fun on the driving days and got some really useful advice and feedback on my driving. It was a great experience. I would encourage other young drivers to enter the competition and I’d also recommend getting some extra driver training. As I discovered, professional driver training can help you become a better driver - there’s always something to learn.”
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