A teenager from Banbury has been named one of the best young drivers in the country.
Daniel Blake, 14, has won a place at the national final for the 2015 Young Driver Challenge, on Saturday, September 5, at the NEC.
Run by Young Driver, who provide of under-17 driving tuition, 40 finalists have now been chosen from hundreds of entrants who are aged between 11 and 16.
Daniel, who attends North Oxfordshire Academy, entered the competition at Young Driver’s Stoneleigh Park venue and will take part in the 14-16 age category at the final.
Entrants were judged on both practical driving skill and theoretical knowledge. As well as being tested on manoeuvres and skills such as parallel parking, figures of eight, braking, steering, judgement and positioning, youngsters also had to complete the Goodyear Driving Academy, an interactive online driving simulator which tests their knowledge of the Highway Code.
Prizes include 40 pre- and post-17 driving lessons provided by Goodyear, a Young Driver at School session for the driver and their classmates and £500 off a car insurance premium courtesy of Young Driver sponsor Admiral.
Daniel said: “I am really excited to get through to the final of the 2015 Young Driver Challenge. I love driving and have been having Young Driver lessons since 2012. Young Driver is really good because it teaches you the essentials to drive a car safely and I think that when I am 17 and able to get my provisional licence, I will be well prepared to take lessons on the road. I hope to do my best in the final – there’s a chance to win a Young Driver lesson for my class at school, which would be a fantastic prize!”
Kim Stanton from Young Driver said: “We’re delighted for Daniel and would like to offer our congratulations. He and the other finalists really worked hard, and should feel very proud of themselves.
“The final will be a great event, and the judges will really be putting these young drivers to the test. People would be amazed at the quality of the driving.
“Our aim has always been to create a safer next generation of young drivers. The current accident rate for youngsters is shockingly high - one in five crash within six months of passing their test. We believe it is vital to get youngsters learning to drive at an earlier age, so they can gain more experience and when they’re more naturally receptive to safety messages.
“The Young Driver Challenge gives us a great opportunity to talk to more youngsters about safe driving, and to show the general public just how good these young drivers can be, given the proper tuition.”
Young Driver has now delivered more than 250,000 lessons across 37 venues. Research shows that for Young Driver past pupils, the accident rate drops to one in ten, from the national average of one in five who crash within six months of passing their test.
For more information about the challenge, or to book a Young Driver lesson, please log on to www.youngdriver.eu or call 0844 371 9010.