January 3 2007.
The Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCI) welcomes the news that the Department for Transport is considering proposals to introduce the principle of safe driving into the school curriculum.
Under plans being considered by the Government the principles of safe driving may be included in the school curriculum. Learner drivers will have to keep a record of their training, undertake a minimum period of practice and demonstrate that they have a responsible attitude rather than just the basic skills to pass the test.
These proposals are being considered in light of the statistics which show that young male drivers aged 17 to 20 are almost ten times more likely to be killed or seriously injured behind the wheel than men aged 40 to 59.
The MCI is an advocate of road user education and has a strong educational policy. It has already produced and distributed a free resource for KS4, 'LINKS - connecting Citizenship and Road User Education'. The CD-Rom based resource incorporates road user education with the Key Stage 4 Citizenship syllabus and offers teachers and students the opportunity to explore issues such as Human Rights, Consumer Rights and Responsibilities and Crime, using road user education as the main focus.  A DVD about safe riding for young people - 'Act Your Age' is also available for use by teachers and other educational workers.
Over the last five years the industry has been reviewing a number of options for educational qualifications in road safety and alternative ways of integrating it into the curriculum. The announcement by Dr Stephen Ladyman is a very positive step in the right direction that supports the MCI principle that education can be more effective that punitive legislation.
Craig Carey-Clinch, MCI's Director of Public Affairs said, The DfT has recognised that there are benefits to starting driver education while young people are still at school, introducing them to the rules, dangers and responsibilities of the road at a much earlier age.
"The MCI supports initiatives that help to make roads safer and young people more aware of the risks. The more that can be done to educate all road users can only help to make the roads safer for motorbike and scooter riders too.
"Young people can also benefit from learning to ride a bike as it offers a cost-effective and convenient form of transport to give them the freedom and flexibility to travel to college and work. However, the industry wants to help make sure that we are putting educated and informed youngsters on the road and will continue in its youth education activities."