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From Northern Constabulary

19 January 07

NORTHERN Constabulary have been working with the Construction Skills (formerly known as Construction Industry Training Board or CITB), Inverness College, Institute of Advanced Motorists and Highlands and Islands Fire & Rescue Service to educate young apprentices on road safety and responsible driving.

The informative road safety sessions took place over the 4th and 5th of December 2007 and saw a total of 350 apprentices aged between 17 and 21 from over the Highlands and Islands in attendance at the Longman Campus of the Inverness College.

The talks were the first to incorporate apprentices from all professions, as this had previously just included trainee mechanics, and covered many areas including breaking down advanced driver training, the role of emergency services, legal requirements of vehicles and driver behaviour.

Also the young apprentices viewed ‘Just Another Day’ the story of Donald Geddes the young driver left with permanent injuries following a road traffic collision that significantly changed his life forever.

Featuring from Northern Constabulary were Ali McBean, Class 1 Advanced Police Driver, from the Road Policing Unit and Laura Fisher the Road Safety Officer, who along with Ben Devlin the Young Drivers Development Manager from the Institute of Advanced Motorists, Gary Innes from HIFRS and Evan Grey from Construction Skills all had input in the four sessions.

Evan Grey, Training Advisor from Construction Skills said with regard to the recent event: “I believe the sessions ran really well and there has been a lot of positive feedback from many that were present on the day.

“We at Construction Skills acknowledge the vast importance of this nature of education to our apprentices who will be driving vehicles for a large part of their job. Having the united assistance and drive of other agencies involved is helping to get these key messages out there, which is so vitally important.”

Laura Fisher, Northern Constabulary’s Road Safety Officer commented: “The sessions went really well and were well met with a good level of interaction between the speakers and those in attendance. It’s a great way to reach young people that haven’t received the education required to be a competent driver, so many will pass their tests and not give much of a thought about how their driver behaviour can impact on their own and others lives drastically.

“I’m looking forward to taking these sessions forward with out partners and rolling this out across many colleges in the Highlands and Islands in the next two years.”

The next training sessions are planned for Shetland College in February where approximately 100 apprentice students are expected to be in attendance, and confirmed for Thurso College later in the year.