Free training to help protect young at-work drivers is on offer as RoSPA’s efforts to cut accidents involving some of the most vulnerable road users continue apace.

The Young Drivers at Work seminar, taking place on March 30, will prepare employers and road safety professionals to run Young Drivers at Work workshops for driving staff aged 17 – 24. It will also cover many of the issues raised by young drivers when the workshops were piloted.

The seminar is the next step in the Young Drivers at Work project, which is being run by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents in England and Wales. The project began in 2008 by researching the views and experiences of managers and young drivers, which revealed concern that young people were not being adequately prepared for at-work driving.

From this, RoSPA developed and ran a series of pilot workshops which covered the issues raised, including the distinctive aspects of driving for work, the importance of journey planning, attitudes to driving, and what to do about work practices which might pressure staff into unsafe driving.

The structure of the workshops has been specially designed to involve young drivers in discussions about the different topics which influence the way they drive.

Duncan Vernon, RoSPA’s road safety manager for England, said: “Young drivers at work face many challenges to do with their relative inexperience on the road as well as having to drive under the pressures which work can create.

“The workshops we’ve developed encourage young drivers to talk about the driving they’ve done. This helps them develop insight into their own abilities and priorities as a driver, as well as into what influences the way they drive. Participants will then identify realistic ways of driving more safely based on their own circumstances, as well as how to put those methods into action.

“In addition, the workshops will empower managers by helping them understand at-work driving from the perspective of their younger employees. Bosses might be unaware, for instance, that their young driving staff are not raising safety concerns about hectic work schedules which force them into driving dangerously.

“Road safety is a responsibility best shared between employers and employees.”

The Young Drivers at Work seminar, taking place at the Society’s headquarters in Birmingham, is completely free.

But, with demand expected to be high, those interested are advised to contact the charity’s road safety team as soon as possible. Email Duncan Vernon at dvernon@rospa.com or call 0121 248 2078. See www.rospa.com/roadsafety/youngdriversatwork/ for full details of the Young Drivers at Work project, which is being funded by the Department for Transport.