Renault has been involved for nine years, joining Northamptonshire Highways, Northamptonshire Police and Adrian Flux Insurance, and provides a fleet of vehicles to the scheme including Twingo, Clio, Captur and Mégane.
The scheme runs three courses each year, which are free of charge and offers drivers a dynamic mix of workshops allowing young people to experience driving on simulated, challenging conditions. It explores the main causes of car crashes – failing to look/judge, excess and inappropriate speed, excess alcohol/drug driving and seat belt safety.
Drivers taking part in the course experience skidding to explore car control under extreme road conditions. They also get an assessed drive on public carriageways with a police driver, who give tips on advanced driving techniques. Tutors running the events are all highly qualified motoring professionals with years of experience in both motor racing and advanced driving techniques. The schemes have been hugely popular, regularly over-subscribed and have attracted numerous best practice visits by other local authorities.
Since its inception, more than 10,000 people have benefited from the unique experience, which has helped reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in Northamptonshire to an all-time low in 2016. The figures continue to go down and since 2001; there has been an encouraging 67 per cent reduction in young driver casualties.
Keith Millard, a Senior Behavioural Change Officer with Northamptonshire Highways, said: “CarKraft epitomises our behavioural change strategy, which is achieved through partnership collaboration with a range of stakeholders including Renault UK. Thanks to the resource and funding support of our partners our courses are provided free of charge to participants. We are pleased to be able to work with Renault UK and their support with our award-winning event has helped in a continuing fall in young driver casualty numbers in Northamptonshire.”
CarKraft was awarded a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in 2006 and was shortlisted for the FirstCar Young Driver Road Safety Awards 2015 ‘Young Driver Campaign of the Year’.
Matthew Bendall, Head of Press and PR, Groupe Renault UK, said: “Renault’s support of CarKraft is now in its ninth year and it’s encouraging to see the correlation between the safety initiative and a reduction in serious injuries in Northamptonshire. The best part of this scheme is that it is free for anyone to attend as the events enable young drivers to understand the rules of the road better and how best to handle their car with plentiful tips from experienced tutors.”
The agile Renault Twingo city car starts at £10,750 with the ever popular Clio supermini starting from £13,500. The stylish Renault Captur, the best-selling Renault model in the UK, starts from £15,300 and the elegant Mégane family hatchback from £17,715.