Cambridgeshire young driver collision figures revealed

Local MP backs rural road safety campaign as high rate of young driver collision in Cambridgeshire revealed.

Sir Jim Paice MP is backing a National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) rural road safety campaign to encourage young drivers to stay safe in the County after statistics showed young drivers who live in five of the six districts within Cambridgeshire are involved in more injury collisions than the national average.*

The shocking figures taken from a 2012 Road Safety Analysis (RSA) report show that young drivers from the Fenland District are 108% more likely to be involved in an injury collision than the national average, the third highest level of risk across the 379 districts of Britain.There is similar risk for young driver residents from East Cambridgeshire, who are 72% more likely to be involved than young drivers nationally.

A separate report from RSA reveals that rural young drivers nationally are 37% more likely to have an injury collision than urban young drivers.

Sir Jim Paice, MP for South East Cambridgeshire, was eager to throw his support behind the rural road safety campaign that has been launched by the NFYFC – one of the largest rural youth organisations in the UK – and supported by leading rural insurer NFU Mutual.

The local MP met with Milly Wastie, National Chairman for NFYFC, and Cambridgeshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ Vice-Chairman Luke Abblitt and Deputy President Tom Woods on Friday 11 January at Alconbury Driving Centre in Huntingdon. Tom Woods is also the owner of C-Way Driver Training, based in Peterborough, who are supporting the campaign.

The NFYFC campaign, called Drive it Home, launched in November last year and aims to reduce the number of incidents involving young drivers. The Young Farmers aim to promote safer driving practices and create a team of Drive it Home champions throughout the Federation’s 46 counties in England and Wales.

The Cambridgeshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs is backing the national campaign and is encouraging its eight clubs in the County to provide road safety training on their club programmes.

Sir Jim Paice MP for South East Cambridgeshire said:

“My reasons for supporting the Drive it Home campaign are simple: too many of our young people are being killed or seriously injured on rural roads in Cambridgeshire. In my constituency alone 137 young people were killed or seriously injured on the roads between 2005 and 2011.

“For young people living in rural areas, such as much of my constituency, being able to drive is essential, but these statistics unveiled by the NFYFC are deeply worrying. In much of Cambridgeshire, as well as the usual dangers of rural roads, there is the added risk of deep ditches and water-filled dykes with few barriers. We must do all that we can to improve awareness of the dangers of driving on Cambridgeshire’s rural roads and so if you are a young driver in rural Cambridgeshire, or know of such young drivers, then I urge you to take advantage of the help and support being offered by the Drive it Home campaign.”

The majority of NFYFC’s 24,000 members live and work in rural communities putting them in a high risk category for incidents on rural roads. The lack of public transport links in many of these areas mean many NFYFC members have little option but to start driving young.

The campaign is being supported by NFU Mutual to create hundreds of rural driving ambassadors who can speak to young people in their own language and inspire a generation of drivers about the inherent risks and responsible driving skills needed on rural roads.

The Drive it Home campaign will:

Work with road safety charity Brake to deliver road safety training, based on Brake’s 2young2die campaign, to at least one representative from each county in the Federation in England and Wales and create Drive it Home Champions who will become ambassadors in their local communities and peer groups for safer driving

Work with advanced driving company Drive Doctors to offer members bespoke courses so they can practice driving in challenging conditions and learn in a fun and interactive environment with young racing drivers.

As well as off-roading sessions and wet grip activities ­– the sessions are tailored to appeal to young drivers who are encouraged to use their own cars on the circuit to simulate real-life scenarios

Ensure that all 644 Young Farmers Clubs deliver some form of road safety awareness training in 2013.

Work with Road Safety Analysis and carry out further research to better understand the common causes of crashes involving rural young drivers and investigate differing regional trends.

Milly Wastie, Chairman of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, said:

“As one of the largest rural youth organisations in the UK, we want our members to make a real difference and become ambassadors for safer driving within their rural communities and peer groups. I was shocked to see that rural road collisions involving young drivers in Cambridgeshire were so much higher than the national average and I want to work with the County to help spread the word and save lives.

“Having Sir Jim Paice MP’s support means a lot to our members because of his influence in the local community and on a much wider scale. As a former member of NFYFC, Jim understands more than most how influential this campaign will be to changing our members’ attitudes and also in spreading the word wider.”

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Break down of statistics for Cambridgeshire*:


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