Young Borders drivers on the road to safer motoring

Three young Borderers are helping lead the way in a move to safer driving across the region.

Shane Petty, Iain Buckley and Gary Haldane from Selkirk have all recently passed the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) advanced driving test, with help from their observers Bill Allison and Martyn Buckley.

Earlier this year, the Borders Group of Advanced Motorists launched its Young Driver Initiative which has been sponsored by Borders racing ace John Cleland and Clelands of Galashiels.

The group, which is affiliated to the UK IAM, recognised that improvements in national road crash statistics were not being replicated in the Borders.

With young drivers at particular risk and young male motorists doubly so, the task for the group was clear, Martyn said.

“We wanted to get across the message to our young drivers that advanced driving was not about pottering around at no more than 40 mph in a flat cap and a shiny old Rover,” he said. “Advanced driving is all about making safe progress and, where safe to do so, making the best of a car’s capabilities.

“The sponsorship from Clelands is a great boost for the scheme which means that any young driver normally resident in the Borders can undertake the IAM course for no cost.”

This usually involves a one-day course and a number of drives by the young driver with one the Borders group’s qualified observers, before taking the test. The test examiners all hold a Class One Police Advanced Driving Certificate, and provide useful and friendly feedback after the test.

To date, five young drivers from the region have passed the advanced test with 11 more working towards it.

“Advanced driving leads to safer, stress free driving and can help reduce running costs and, particularly in the case of young drivers, can lead to lower insurance premiums,” said Martyn.

Any Borders drivers under 26 who are interested can obtain further details from Bill Allison, the group’s senior observer on 07702739474.