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'Young Driver of the Year' Presented With New Peugeot 107

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COVENTRY, UNITED KINGDOM – November 4, 2009: The winner of the third ‘Coventry and Warwickshire Young Driver of the Year’ competition has been announced.

Scott Brooks, 18 from Southam, Warwickshire, was presented with the keys to his prize – a Peugeot 107 – during a ceremony at Peugeot’s Headquarters at Pinley House, Coventry.

The competition has been run by Warwickshire County Council, Coventry City Council, MIRA and the Institute of Advanced Motorists and is sponsored by Peugeot Motor Company PLC.

‘Young Driver of the Year’ is designed to encourage safe driving practices amongst young people and reduce casualty numbers within this group. Every year about 1,000 young lives are lost on UK roads.

From the hundreds of competition entrants, 50 drivers were short-listed to attend a driving day in October at MIRA in North Warwickshire. Skills tested ranged from parking to controlling a car on a wet handling area. The day also included an assessed drive by the Institute of Advanced Motorists and a driving theory test.

The top 12 drivers qualified for the competition final, and took part in another day of driving challenges which took place again at MIRA.

The standard of driving shown by the finalists was very impressive, however Scott Brooks just edged out the competition by demonstrating some very assured and confident driving. Scott recently passed the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) advanced driving test and is a member of the Stratford branch of the IAM.

Scott said: “I’m so pleased I entered the competition. I’ve won a fabulous brand new Peugeot 107, had a lot of fun on the driving days and got some really useful advice and feedback on my driving from the MIRA and IAM instructors. It’s been a great experience. I’d recommend all drivers to take some form of further or advanced driver training. I don’t think you are ever too young or too old to learn more and become a safer and better driver.”

Coventry City Councillor, Kevin Foster became a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists when he was 19, he said: "This award scheme ensures that the best young drivers get the recognition they deserve, while at the same time promoting road safety for everyone. I am pleased to be part of these awards again and do my bit to help make our roads safer."

Councillor Richard Hobbs, Warwickshire County Council’s Community Protection portfolio holder, said: “We are delighted to support this competition; an initiative which is giving the participating young drivers knowledge and skills that will help them stay safe throughout their driving careers.”

Peugeot’s Managing Director Jon Goodman said: “If this initiative prevents one accident or serious injury it will be worth our three year investment in younger drivers.”

MIRA’s CEO Dr George Gillespie added: “MIRA’s focus on road safety began back in the 50’s when we opened the UK’s first crash lab. As a vehicle engineering company we couldn’t be more committed to improving all aspects of road safety; but this initiative achieves goals that crumple-zones & airbags never will because it addresses the fundamental causes of accidents - driving decisions.

That’s why we’re proud to host this event on our Proving Ground and hope we’ve made a real difference to the driving behaviour of the contestants by providing indelible memories for all those involved, not just the lucky winner.”