Aberdeenshire Community Safety Partnership (ACSP) is supporting a new road
safety initiative to improve the skill levels of all drivers and to save
petrol into the bargain!
The initiative is called "The Complete Driver" and the aim of the project
is to make drivers aware of how to improve their driving skill, save money
and make them "The Complete Driver".
"The Complete Driver" was the brainchild of Cecil Ritchie who as a retired
Scottish trained accountant was involved in a head-on collision. To him it
seemed natural to treat it as another investigation worth pursuing - with
massive support along the way. During his investigation he discovered
horrific statistics around fatal and serious road collisions and resolved
to achieve something practical to reverse this worrying trend. His first
major success was the catalyst for the Pass Plus initiative which is now a
nationally supported programme of additional driver skills training. He
hopes that "The Complete Driver" will provide the platform in Aberdeenshire
to further improve driving skills and behaviour.
Learned behaviour is the most copied and, as has been highlighted recently,
bad habits can be picked up by young people who observe the driving habits
of their parents, guardians or carers. Drivers may not be aware of their
poor driving skills or bad habits and these could contribute to being
involved in a collision on Aberdeenshire’s roads.
Driving skills can always be enhanced and improved but to do that drivers
need to be aware of some of the bad habits they may have picked up over
time as well as some of the good habits they already have.
The ACSP is teaming up with the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) to
offer a free "Drivecheck" to anyone who applies (normal cost £25).
"Drivecheck" is a short driving assessment aimed at everyone who is
interested in safer driving. It only takes an hour and consists of a 35-40
minute drive with an IAM trained observer followed by a short feedback
session where the driver will receive a written feedback form. Small tips
to improve skills can make all the difference and some of the tips can lead
to big savings in petrol costs. (source – IAM)
Three of the Local Community Safety Groups in the South Marr, Garioch &
North Marr and Formartine areas have allocated funding to allow up to 10 drivers
from each area to take the "Drivecheck" assessment.
Councillor Ron McKail, Chair of the Garioch & North
Marr Community Safety Group said:
"We are very supportive of any project which enhances the
skills of drivers. The free IAM "Drivecheck" assessment only takes an hour
but could give you tips that could save you money and help to make you a
Ed Bushnell Chair of the South Marr Community Safety Group said:
"We have actively promoted the Pass Plus initiative along with all the other local
CSG’s in Aberdeenshire. "The Complete Driver" scheme seems an excellent and
free way to save money and improve your driving."
Alistair Strachan Chair of the Formartine Community Safety Group said:
"In Formartine we have a particular road safety problem with our rural roads. A
free IAM "Drivecheck" assessment is an easy way to improve your driving and
we are delighted to support "The Complete Driver" project."
Alison McInnes MSP for North East Scotland and spokesperson on Local Government and Transport said:
"Raising driving standards is a vital component in reducing the number
of collisions on our roads. When people have been drivers for a long time they can
easily slip into careless driving habits. I'm sure most of us who are drivers
would benefit from this kind of skills check. We are familiar with the idea of
continuous improvement in our working lives, but when it comes to driving seem
to be remarkably resistant to the idea that we might need to brush up our skills.
So this new pilot project is very welcome - If new young drivers see that their
parents and carers are willing to submit themselves to this kind of check and act
on the feedback perhaps that will encourage the next generation to take a different
approach to driving. Congratulations to Aberdeenshire Community Safety for developing
The Garioch & North Marr Community Safety Group
has already funded ten drivers to take the assessment.
Some comments from those who took the opportunity to have their driving assessed were:
"a very worthwhile and good experience"
Gordon Advanced Motorists will be doing the checks. If you want more information about
Gordon Advanced Motorists, email John Buchan the group Secretary
"very nervous beforehand but delighted to find my driving was up to standard"
"found the assessment thought provoking and made me more aware about reading the road ahead"
"found that some of my driving habits which I’d been taught years ago needed to be changed"
"had a few bad habits pointed out but so impressed by the experience have now enrolled for the IAM Skill for Life