Road Code is delivered in partnership with the UPS Foundation, of the international courier company. Based on a programme developed in the US, in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the programme promotes road safety among young people through workshops and ‘behind the wheel’ simulations.
Road Code is delivered by volunteers from UPS – they are mostly drivers and driver trainers, but everyone at UPS has to take part in their driver training programme, as part of an organisational commitment to safety and awareness about their core mission. During the sessions, young people gain an insight into the skills and awareness needed to become a safe road user. The first pilot programmes are currently being held around the country.
Dominic Smith, Youth Worker with Young Gloucestershire, looks back at their first Road Code session:
“At Young Gloucestershire we have been running our own road safety project – Roadrunners – for some years now, so getting involved with Road Code was an opportunity to expand our reach and spread the message.
“In my experience, while many tend to think that ‘it won’t happen to me’, just as many have already been affected by unsafe driving in one way or another….though it still comes as a shock for them to find out in the session that the road is the biggest killer of 14-25 year olds in this country.
“For me, the biggest strength of our Road Code session was the training team. They delivered the sort of awareness training that UPS drivers have to go through, so the emphasis is very much on ‘real world’ skills and awareness. Sometimes people question what they are saying, but it’s pretty hard to argue with people who drive for a living – they use their own experience to get their message across, so their message can’t be easily ignored.
“The simulator that the young people get to try is also a powerful tool. It’s certainly an attraction for the young people on the session. But it’s not just another video game. When people make a mistake or miss a hazard, it all comes to a stop. It’s not like a computer game, where you just bounce off the wall – the consequences of a lack of concentration are made clear.
“We’re hoping that this will be the beginning of a lasting partnership – we’ve already got some more pilot sessions planned. One aspect from our own Roadrunners programme that we think we can integrate into Road Code is our use of personal testimony, where people talk about how their lives have been affected by the dangers of the road. This has proved to be very powerful in challenging attitudes.”
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