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Co-op Insurance drives safety into classrooms

16 November 2016

  • Co-op Insurance believes that educating the younger generation is a key tool in helping to reduce road deaths in years to come
  • Insurer to roll out safer driving classes to pupils in five Co-op Academies
  • Sessions have been devised to demonstrate the impacts on the life of somebody who may make a wrong driving decision, rather than using scare tactics
  • Co-op Insurance pledges to educate thousands of young people about safe driving and help keep communities safe alongside Brake, the road safety charity

In a move designed to reduce young road deaths, Co-op Insurance is driving home the importance of safe driving to thousands of secondary school students.

Nearly 25,000 people were killed or seriously injured on UK roads in the 12 months to March this year* and according to Brake, the road safety charity, young drivers are far more likely to be involved in an incident than their older counterparts**.

That is why the insurer is working with five schools within the Co-op Academies Trust to help educate and encourage pupils to make the right choices when they begin to drive.

Driver safety is a key championing issue for the Co-op Insurance and, in partnership with Brake, secondary school students across the Co-op Academies Trust will benefit from interactive sessions which have safe driving at their heart.

Co-op Insurance believes that the 11-16 age group is a really important one to target and, if engaged correctly, can really lead to improving safety amongst younger drivers

According to Brake drivers aged 17-19 only make up 1.5% of UK licence holders but are involved in 9% of fatal and serious crashes where they are the driver.

The initial session has just taken place with over 100 year 11 pupils at the Co-op Academy of Stoke taking part in an hour long interactive lesson. The lesson highlighted the issues associated with road safety, however rather than using scare tactics such as images from road crashes it has been devised to demonstrate the impacts on the life of somebody who may make a wrong driving decision.

To further engage students, the lesson has also been devised to be interactive in order tocapture their attention. Simple activities were used in Stoke such as using catching games with students wearing glasses to demonstrate the effect of alcohol, ‘beer goggles’, which really showed the impact of alcohol on normal reactions.

The sessions, whilst being off the national curriculum, are also being used to enhance on-curriculum learning. In Stoke, students were set a mock GCSE English question on persuasive writing based on the contents of the session with teachers finding that the session really sparked debate and engaged students.

Co-op Insurance will now roll out the lessons in the four other secondary academies which form the Co-op Academies Trust. Students in year 7 to 11 in the academies in Leeds and Manchester -Blackley, Higher Blackley and, in mid-2017, Failsworth will all soon benefit from these interactive sessions.

James Hillon, Director of Products at Co-op Insurance said: “Drivers under 19 are a third more likely to die in a crash than drivers aged 40-49 so it is clear something needs to be done.

“We are in a unique position as an insurer as we have a direct link to thousands of secondary school pupils across the Co-op Academy network.

“We truly believe that 11-16 year olds hold the key to making the UK’s roads safer in years to come and that is imperative that we educate this group, alongside Brake, not only on their own safety but the longer term impacts a bad driving decision at a young age can have on the rest of their lives.

“We’ve worked closely with the schools to ensure that this is an experience which has a positive effect on the student’s learning. We’ve already had a great response from the students in Stoke on the sessions and are now rolling out across the academies.”

Mike Bristow, campaign manager at Brake and who ran the session at the Stoke Academy, said: “It’s important that young people understand the dangers associated with driving. Road safety currently isn’t mandatory on the curriculum and we know all too well with our work in schools how difficult it can be for educators to include lessons in an already packed academic schedule. Initiatives like the one Co-op Insurance are running in their academies, are crucial if we are to inspire young people to be safer drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. We are proud to be supporting the Co-op’s road safety programme in their academies.”

Nick Lowry, Principal at the Co-op Academy of Stoke, said: “It was an important lesson for our students and they found it very engaging. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the academies to have the Co-op and Brake speaking to students about important issues. Students took the passion that was brought by the speakers and used it in their GCSE English work.”

Ends

Notes to editors

* https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/533293/rrcgb-main-results-2015.pdf (PDF - 650KB)

** http://www.brake.org.uk/events/15-facts-a-resources/facts/488-young-drivers-the-hard-facts

For more information contact:

Jenna Moss
Press & Media Relations Manager - Co-op
0161 767 4354/07540 641368
jenna.moss@co-operative.coop

Sarah Dawson
Press Officer - Co-op
Sarah.dawson2@co-operative.coop

07702506126