Press Release 11 January 2016

Young drivers in County Durham and Darlington can benefit from extra road safety training thanks to a free voucher scheme.

The Excelerate programme is designed to target the three main types of crashes young people are involved in by providing training at five key stages.excelerate

Durham County Council co-ordinates and delivers the training on behalf of the County Durham and Darlington Road Safety Partnership.

A new scheme has now been launched giving young people aged up to 25 the opportunity to download free vouchers to use for the training after they pass their driving test.

The vouchers, which have no expiry date, will also be available during 2016 from a number of outlets throughout County Durham and Darlington.

Paul Watson, road safety manager, said: “We would urge any young drivers who have recently passed their test to take advantage of the free safety training on offer – it’s free and can reduce the risk of accidents. We would also encourage any family members and friends of young drivers to let them know about the scheme.

“Nine per cent of all driving licences are held by young drivers but according to research they are involved in 40 per cent of fatal road crashes on our roads.

“The Excelerate young driver course looks at the three main kinds of crashes involving young drivers and works with them to help them to protect themselves and others while they’re behind the wheel.”

Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg funds the Excelerate programme and has lent his support to the voucher scheme.

He said: “Improving road safety is one of the key areas I am focusing on in my Police and Crime Plan.

“This is an excellent course for young people as it will help them to forge a sensible attitude to their driving and prepare them for a safer future on our roads. This is also an ideal opportunity which parents can take advantage of and enrol new drivers in their family on to the free training course.”

For more information, and to download a voucher, visit or