Pupils from three North East Fife high schools have taken part in a new road safety initiative designed to encourage safe driving.
Drivewise Fife is being led by Fife Council’s safer communities team working in partnership with Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Ambulance Service, Leuchars Military Base and supported by John Clark Specialised Motors who kindly loaned 10 cars for the duration for the pupils to drive.
120 young people from Madras College, Waid Academy and Bell Baxter high school took part in the event over three days at Leuchars military base, learning basic driving techniques and road safety skills.
And it’s hoped the success of the event will mean many more of the Kingdom’s young people will get the opportunity to learn these vital life lessons.
Convener of Fife Council’s Environment, Protective Services and Community Safety Committee Cllr Ross Vettraino welcomed the initiative which aims to reduce road casualties by making an impact on soon to be drivers and passengers.
He commented: “Events like Drivewise are important to help educate our young people on positive driving attitudes before they get behind the wheel of a car.
“There is huge responsibility that comes with driving, and developing good habits early is key to having safe and considerate young drivers on our roads. I’m delighted that the council is leading this forward-thinking initiative.”
The Drivewise project was first developed in the Borders and is funded by Transport Scotland. It has been successfully delivered in that area for a couple of years and Fife is the first council to deliver the event in the rest of Scotland. Pupils taking part will learn basic driving techniques and road rules through a series of simple manoeuvres in a vehicle. Through workshops they will get involved by using virtual reality goggles, seatbelt convincer and beer goggles to instil a sense of responsible behaviour when driving and being a passenger.
Chief Inspector Adrian Annandale, Chair of the Road Casualty Reduction Group, said: “Road safety and casualty reduction on our road network are two of our main priorities in Fife and through our ongoing road safety initiative, Operation Paramount, we continue to explore and exploit all opportunities available to us to educate drivers and mitigate against serious injury or fatal road collisions.
“Young drivers are the demographic most likely to be involved in such incidents and it is absolutely vital that we provide them with all the necessary advice and guidance they require to keep themselves safe when behind the wheel.
“Drivewise has already proven incredibly successful in the Scottish Borders and through the various inputs and specialisms being brought by the Fife partners involved in this scheme, I anticipate similar successes.”
[Text and photographs taken from Fife Police Division’s Facebook page.]