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Young drivers gain 'Momentum'

Thursday 20th January 2011

The IAM has launched Momentum, a new two-part assessment designed for younger drivers (17-25) who have passed their driving test.

Momentum incorporates two modules; an interactive online assessment, followed by an on-road session with an IAM examiner. It does not involve an exam and there is no risk of failure. It is designed to offer a quick, low-cost option for improving the confidence, awareness and safety of younger drivers.

After passing the driving test there is currently no requirement to take any further driver - development training - despite substantial evidence that post-test training reduces young driver fatalities by up to nearly a third.

Simon Best, IAM CEO, said: “Momentum is a relaxed and effective way for young drivers to gain experience in a supportive environment to get them through this dangerous stage in their early driving years.

“It’s also a practical way for parents to help their children to become safer on the roads.”

The cost for Momentum is £40, which will be taken off the fee for the full Skill for Life programme if purchased within 12 months of the Momentum assessment.

For more information visit the Momentum website.

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Thank you Keith. I had read that and it is all excellent stuff but, and please donít think I am trying to be negative, this footnote still doesnít show that young driver fatalities have been reduced by a third since Austria introduced their system. We should also consider that Austrians have a very different culture and attitude towards driving and their enforcement is far more robust than ours.
It is crucially important to be able to show and prove that post test interventions do significantly reduce casualties in young drivers. All of us involved in this type of training can then work to secure the resources to continue and develop the courses.
David Clark, North Yorkshire

The full press release from the IAM includes the following footnote:
"* The Austrian system ensures new drivers have at least three further contacts with qualified instructors during the first 12 to 18 months of their driving career. After taking the test an initial assessment drive is undertaken to gain knowledge of a driverís experience and to highlight any deficiencies. This is followed by a visit to a Road Safety Centre to demonstrate handling in the wet, speed into corners and the impact of speed on stopping distances. There are also discussion sessions, which take a psychological approach that involves talking about peer pressure and the main risks to young drivers. The final element is an eco-drive assessment."
Keith Madderson, Warwickshire

I welcome this initiative, as I do any scheme that helps to reduce young driver casualties. Can anyone tell me where I can find this documented evidence that, "post test training reduces young driver fatalities by up to a third."
I could certainly use this evidence to support the new driver initiative we are running. I would not, however, feel comfortable useing this information with knowing it's source and how it was evaluated. Can anyone help?
David Clark, North Yorkshire