Steering Borders young drivers in the right direction

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Advanced driver training is being offered to Borders 17 to 25 year olds to try and cut the number of young drivers killed or seriously injured on the region’s roads.

Scottish Borders Council has committed £48,000 to provide free of charge advanced driver training for up to 400 of the region’s 17 to 25 year olds through the Institute of Advanced Motorists’ (IAM) Skill for Life programme over the next two years.

A total of 434 people were injured on Borders roads from 2008 to 2012, and Road Safety GB statistics also show an 18-year-old is six times more likely to be involved in a crash than their parents.

The scheme is supported by former British Touring Car Champion John Cleland, and young motorists are invited along to a driver demo day held at his showroom in Galashiels on Sunday, March 23 (10am to 3pm).

As well as getting a free health check for their vehicle by Clelands, youngsters will be able to get a demonstration drive and ask experts questions about the course, which normally costs £139.

Chief Inspector Kenny Simpson said: “SBC is one of the first local authorities in Scotland to offer free sponsorship for 17 to 25 year olds through IAM’s Skill for Life programme.

“This is a great opportunity to learn skills which offer long term benefits not only to the driver but to the Borders community.

As well as improving their skills, the Skill for Life programme also provides a potential reduction in car insurance and 12 months free RAC roadside and recovery assistance for young drivers.

Any 17 to 25 year old qualified driver who lives in the Scottish Borders can sign up to Skill for Life by phoning 0845 126 8600.