Young Scots offered free advanced driving tuition opportunity

19 December 2014

Scottish Borders Council is encouraging families to consider giving an alternative Christmas present in the form of an advanced driver course from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

Any driver under 26 years of age living in the Scottish Borders can take part in the four session scheme sponsored by Scottish Borders Council (SBC), and once the driver has passed, the course fee of £149 is refunded in full.

A further 14 young drivers; hailing from communities such as Duns, Galashiels, Newcastleton and Selkirk, passed the IAM scheme this month and received their certificates at Eildon Mill in Tweedbank.

Pat Doughty, IAM operations director said: “Congratulations to the latest young motorists to have passed our advanced driver course.

“The course not only helps improve their skills and anticipation, but also confidence, which means driving can be a more enjoyable experience.

“Over 400,000 have taken the advanced driver course across the UK, and it would be a great idea to pay for a family member or friend to sit the course as a Christmas present.”

The scheme, which began earlier this year and is supported by former British Touring Car champion John Cleland, aims to cut the number of serious injuries and deaths involving young drivers on the region’s roads. It has attracted interest from other councils in Scotland which are keen to start a similar scheme.

The IAM is fully committed to initiatives to reducing the number of injuries and deaths of young people on the roads.

In 2013, 876 men and 414 women were killed or seriously injured as drivers between the ages of 17 and 24 in Britain. While these are the lowest ever recorded in Britain, the IAM feels these figures are still completely unacceptable with new drivers far more likely to cause their passengers’ death than any other age group. New drivers and their passengers also have far more life changing catastrophic crashes with lifelong injuries than any other age group.

Paul Richardson, SBC’s Community Safety Officer, added: “These young people now have skills which ensure they will be safer drivers, which will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

“Signing someone up for an advanced driver scheme would be a valuable Christmas gift. Along with additional skills, there is also the potential for cheaper car insurance and when the young driver passes, you will be refunded.”

The next scheduled start dates for the course are Tuesday 10 and Sunday 15 March 2015, with other dates available throughout the year.

Anyone wishing to sign up on the advanced driver course should phone on 0300 303 1137. Further information is also available at or


Notes to Editors

  1. * Photos of the young drivers receiving their certificates are available from SBC’s Flickr page:
  2. * The Council has committed £48,000 to provide free of charge advanced driver training for 17 to 25-year-olds in the Scottish Borders through the Institute of Advanced Motorists’ (IAM) Skill for Life programme.
  3. * A total of 434 people were injured on Borders roads from 2008 to 2012, with Scottish Government figures showing £35.7m is the average annual cost of road accidents in the region.
  4. * The IAM is the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, dedicated to improving standards and safety in driving and motorcycling. The commercial division of the IAM operates through its occupational driver training company IAM Drive & Survive. The IAM has more than 200 local volunteer groups and over 100,000 members in the UK and Ireland. It is best known for the advanced driving test and the advanced driving and motorcycling courses. Its policy and research division offers advice and expertise on road safety.
  5. * Full accident statistics are available here:

Media contacts:


IAM Press Office – 020 8996 9777

ISDN broadcast lines available



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