Pass Plus Cymru is an initiative aimed at new and young drivers between the ages of 17 and 25 years of age who have recently passed their car driving test or have less than one year road driving experience.
Considering most drivers fresh on driving scene have limited amounts of cash left after the expense of preparing, training and taking the driving test, it is almost inevitable that the 'new car' they are able to afford are often small two door hatchbacks up to ten years of age.
These 'new cars' are sometimes viewed as a status symbol and are the perfect escape that young people want from buses or trains and having to ask for lifts from friends or relatives. The car will no doubt have a fair amount of wear on suspension and steering components will not have top of the range tyres and in addition is unlikely to be equipped with the extensive safety features of newer models. They are less likely to provide the important 'people protection' such as front and side airbags, Antilock Braking Systems and Electronic Stability Control needed in the event of a near miss, or worse a collision.
New drivers and young people are known to be on the road at night as drivers or as passengers in cars driving on single carriageways that are often unlit national speed limit roads. This combination of factors is most common in a high proportion of fatal Road Traffic Collisions. Taking into account the addition of limited night driving experience and distractions from friends it is a tough fact that the 17 to 25 age social group form only 9% of the driving population yet are involved in 25% of all Road Traffic Collisions that often result in serious injury and death.
Pass Plus Cymru sets out to engage those at high risk and encourage them to think about their responsibilities as drivers on the roads of today.
The first module is an evening seminar or discussion group and lasts around two to three hours. It is facilitated by an experienced Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) or Road Safety Officer accompanied by a representative of the Fire and Rescue service.
The successful road safety film "COW" created in Wales by collaboration in the Gwent Valleys is shown and its outcomes are discussed to include issues that surround:
- Road Traffic Collisions,
- use of speed,
- driver's attitude and behaviour
- drink/drug driving.
The Second Module is one day in duration and introduced at a later stage on a date agreed by the driver attending and a Pass Plus Cymru registered Approved Driving Instructor. The day will consist of a minimum of six hours practical driver training using a variety of roads and will include a motorway element. The training is carried out by an Approved Driving Instructor in an appropriate unmarked vehicle provided. The Instructor may be directly nominated by the driver attending or they may be selected either by referral or from the Instructor association. Some drivers attending may wish to use the Instructor that they used to pass their test. The choice is yours.
The Module Two on-road elements include:
- Motorway driving
- Night driving
- Driving in Towns and Cities
- Driving on rural country roads
- Observation and planning
- Hazard awareness
The Neath Port Talbot Road Safety Team work in partnership with the Neath Port Talbot Driving Instructors Association to promote Pass Plus Cymru across South and East Wales. The Module One evening events are held on the second Monday of each month at the Port Talbot Fire and Rescue Station and the course may accommodate up to eighteen students. It accounts for almost two hundred new or young drivers each year undertaking further training post test to improve skills.
Pass Plus Cymru equips the new driver with greater knowledge and understanding of driving vehicles and improved driving skills, aiming towards a reduction in collisions and potential for injury. It will often reduce insurance premiums and collision statistics.
As it is important that the quality and relevance of training is continually monitored we regularly evaluate our training provision and review the feedback from drivers attending the course. Reviews focus on the content of the course (i.e. did the course cover information that drivers considered useful) and also the delivery (i.e. was the course pitched at the right level and delivered in a way that engaged the drivers).
Providers also review the performance of trainers - this could identify whether there is a pattern in driver feedback which demonstrates that some trainers are more effective than others. These evaluation records are kept for inspection.
How much is the course?
The cost of the course is £20 as a result of funding from the Welsh Government.
How to book?
If you wish to enrol on the Pass Plus Cymru initiative: