Green light for young Isaac's driving dream
While many experienced drivers panic when faced with parallel parking or are horrified by hill starts, one Peterborough 10-year-old is leading the way - seven years before he can get his licence.
Isaac Malcolm got behind the wheel for the first time this year as part of the Young Driver Challenge - and will now see his parking, braking and positional skills put to the test alongside other fledgling motorists .
Young Driver run the project for youngsters aged 10-17 at The East of England Arena in Peterborough, making the experience as safe as possible for children and young teenagers.
The underage drivers get behind the wheel of a dual control Vauxhall Corsa, with a route set up to replicate real world road set ups - including road signs and junctions.
The aim of the scheme is to make sure new drivers have as much experience as possible when they finally get out on the open road on their own for the first time. One in five newly qualified drivers in the UK has an accident within six months of passing their test – but this drops to one in 10 for Young Driver past pupils.
Isaac will be one of the youngest children in the final, which takes place this weekend.
At the final, the drivers will be marked on driving skills and manoeuvres, including parallel parking, emergency stops, steering, judgement and positioning, as well as having to undertake independent driving.
Judges include ex-police drivers and advanced instructors and first place prizes for each category include £200, 10 one-hour Young Driver lessons and family restaurant vouchers.
Isaac, who attends Barnack Primary School, won his place at the final after being judged during his very first lesson at the scheme’s Peterborough venue.
Isaac said: “I was very excited to hear that I had made the Young Driver Challenge final, especially as I think I will be one of the youngest drivers competing.
“I really enjoyed my Young Driver lesson and my instructor was very clear and helpful.
“ I learned a lot and look forward to being able to show the judges what I have learned in a short time, and to improve my skills at the same time.
“I know that these are skills that will stay with me, even if I am quite a few years away from being able to take my driving test.”
Laura White, head of marketing at Young Driver, added: “Congratulations to Isaac! He’s done brilliantly to make the final at such a young age and should feel very proud of himself – even more so given he qualified on his first lesson, which is extremely rare.”
The final takes place on Saturday (September 22) at the Fire Service College at Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, where emergency services’ drivers are taught their skills. Twenty finalists will compete in each of two categories – 10-13 and 14-16 years.
For more information on Young Driver, or how to sign up to have a go visit www.youngdriver.com or call 0844 371 9010.