Even though you need to be 18 to drive in the UK, the search has started for the Top Young Driver in Britain that is under the age of 17, and the standard is already high.
Open to all those aged between 11 and 16 years of age, the 2014 Young Driver Challenge is being run by Young Driver, the UK’s largest provider of under-17 driving tuition, and it is a young TV star who has set the bar high.
Reece Buttery, the 12-year old TV star of the Christmas hit Gangsta Granny and CBBC’s The Dumping Ground, was the first official entrant of the challenge, and he has set a standard to be beaten in the 11-13 age group.
Kim Stanton from Young Driver said: “Young Driver was set up with the intention of reducing the shockingly high number of accidents which occur shortly after youngsters pass their driving test. We believe it is important that youngsters learn to drive over a longer period of time and at a younger age, when they’re more receptive to safety messages.
“We have given 125,000 lessons to under-17s since our launch in 2009, and we have seen so many outstanding young drivers in that time. Most of the youngsters who take part in our lessons give 100% to perfecting the skills they are shown and treat the cars with the utmost respect. We wanted to recognise the hard work our young drivers put in, and show the world how responsible young people can be when given the appropriate training”
This is why the challenge has been set up, with two age categories (11-13 years and 14-16 years) and it consists of both knowledge and driving ability. Not only will those who enter have to complete the Goodyear Driving Academy - an interactive online driving simulator which tests the knowledge of the Highway Code – but also an actual driving test that is based on a series of driving skills and manoeuvres that will include parallel parking, figures of eight, a turn in the road, steering, judgement and positioning.
To actually enter the awards take part in a Young Driver lesson, and be marked by one of the qualified instructors before the end of July 2014, and the forty top-scoring finalists from across the country over the two categories will then find themselves taking part in the final that will be taking place at the Prodrive circuit in the Midlands in September.
There are some excellent prizes in both sections
First prize in the 11-13 year old age category is: For their school, a half a day Young Driver at School session, and for them; 20 x Young Driver lessons and a series of 20 driving lessons with a DIA-accredited instructor), and £500 off an Admiral car insurance premium that can also be used by a direct family member that is valid for 12 months.
First prize in the 14-16 year old age category is: For their school, a half a day Young Driver at School session, and for them; 10 x Young Driver lessons and a series of 30 driving lessons with a DIA-accredited instructor), and £500 off an Admiral car insurance premium that can also be used by a direct family member that is valid for 12 months.
Second prize in both age categories is: a place on a Prodrive Skills Day, 5 x Young Driver lessons and a half a day Young Driver at School session.
Third prizes in both age categories is: a place on a Prodrive Skills Day and 5 x Young Driver lessons
All finalists get Young Driver vouchers.
Reece Buttery, the first official entrant to the 2014 Young Driver Challenge, said: “I have had a few Young Driver lessons now, and they’re great fun, but I’m also very aware that I’m learning some hugely important skills. I’d urge anyone aged 11-16 to give it a go, it’s a brilliant experience. You get to do everything you would in a driving lesson at 17, in a dual controlled car, but you’re on a specially constructed road course on private property rather than the real roads. I’m definitely keeping my fingers crossed that my challenge entry might make it into the top 20 for my age category!”
For more information about the challenge, or to book a Young Driver lesson, take a look at the website available here www.youngdriver.euor call 0844 371 9010.
Let’s leave the final word to Kim Stanton from Young Driver: “For the 2014 Young Driver Challenge, we have teamed up with our sponsors to create a programme that incorporates both practical experience through Young Driver and education on the Highway Code through the Goodyear Driving Academy. The prize package reflects this with a fantastic package of pre and post-17 lessons, as well as offering youngsters and their family a sizeable discount on their Admiral car insurance.”
A late starter on the road (passing his test at the age of 31) Kevin drives. He gets into the car, starts it, and drives. No matter what car, it is being on the road that matters, and enjoying the feeling of being there. A passionate writer about many subjects, and author of an as-yet unpublished book based on his misspent youth in a pop band in the 80's, he works as a freelance copywriter in the North-West of England.
Away from his laptop keyboard, Kevin is a dedicated husband, dad, grandad and AFC Wimbledon football fan currently attempting to indoctrinate his 4 year old grandson into the music of his youth by playing The Jam on repeat throughout the house. He also performs stand-up comedy under the name of AFC Baggy and is the current Preston Comedian of the Year.