Rachel Watts, 18 year old Writtle College sport student, recently became the youngest person in the UK to be awarded the highest accolade given by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Advanced Driving award at Gold level.
Since the launch of the driving test, celebrating its 80th year this week, driving continues to be the biggest single killer of young people in the UK.
Concerned and lacking confidence in her driving ability, Rachel opted to progress onto a Pass Plus course upon passing her driving test. Once completed and still seeking to educate herself on road safety, Rachel researched and discovered the RosPA Advance Drivers award.
According to RoSPA, advanced drivers are 25% less likely to be involved in a crash and teach people safe, thoughtful and methodical ways of driving.
Advanced Driving is based upon the 'System of car control' as detailed in Roadcraft – The Police Driver Handbook. The driver must continuously relay running commentary to the passenger, whilst driving, noting anything from hazards too road signs.
Rachel Watts said “Although I passed my driving test first time, I still lacked self-assurance with my driving and wanted to continue to educate myself on road safety. RoSPA Advanced Driving course was a fantastic way to boost my confidence, and as its run by volunteers, it’s completely free!
“After completing the additional driving lessons and achieving a gold level for my exam, I feel confident and most importantly safe on the roads.”
RoSPA’s course uses local groups around the country to provide training, which is free - you only need to pay for the actual test. Rachel’s tutor gave her weekly lessons (usually an hour or so a week) until she felt ready for the test.