AN award-winning course which sets students on the road to becoming safe drivers has welcomed its latest intake.
Since 2001, WiseDrive – Drive for Life has seen more than 12,000 students visit Durham Constabulary’s police headquarters to learn about a range of road safety issues in a bid to cut deaths and injury.
Between January 2009 and last month, 12 drivers, riders or passengers aged between 17 to 24 have died in County Durham crashes.
They include three fatal smashes in East Durham this year, with a man’s life was claimed in Grants Houses in February, two women killed in a collision in Shotton Colliery in June and a man and woman, both 21 and from Seaham, lost in a collision on the A19 at Easington in July.
Run by the force and the Durham Agency Against Crime, with the support of the fire service, WiseDrive educates Year 11 students as they approach the age where they can apply for a driving licence, with part of the cost met by money generated by motorists who attend speed awareness courses.
During the next fortnight, 800 students will pass through the workshops.
Gillian Hope, the force’s casualty reduction co-ordinator, said: “The message we are trying to get across is to enjoy the driving experience but at the same time always be aware of your responsibilities.”