New road safety initiative

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A GROUND-BREAKING road safety initiative is set to be launched in a bid to help novice drivers be more independent.

Merseyside Road Safety Partnership want driving instructors to better equip learners with the skills they need to identify and cope with hazards on the roads.

Sgt Paul Mountford, of Merseyside Police’s Roads Policing Department, has played a key role in the launch of the ENGAGE initiative.

Sgt Mountford said: “This is a new, exciting approach that looks to set a higher standard for driver education to improve road safety for novice drivers of all ages.

“It also places an expectation on parents and guardians of young drivers to involve themselves in the process.

“As a parent myself, I know what it feels like to see a son or daughter drive away from home for the first time after they have passed their driving test and the stress and worry - waiting for them to return.

“ENGAGE not only gives new drivers the skills they need to pass their driving test but equips them with the knowledge and confidence to drive on their own and the ability to deal with various situations safely.”

Gill Roberts, St Helens Council’s senior road safety officer, agreed: “Most learner drivers miss having their driving instructor sitting with them after they pass their test.

“By learning to drive through ENGAGE’s learner-centred coaching method, they will take responsibility for their own actions before taking the driving test and therefore cope with situations better when they are on their own.”