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Fast Track to Road Safety
By Mary Rees.
Swansea Evening Post Business Plus

November 2000

Experienced motorists know acquiring a driving license is just the start of a lifetime's lesson in car safety skills - but getting that message over to 17 year olds brimming with confidence is another matter.

1st Lotus Driving School is a new business venture which uses the prospect of six hours tuition in a £25,000 Lotus Elise open top sports car to equip new drivers with such skills.

It has been set up by racing driver and driving instructor Andrew Walsh of Clos Brynafon, Gorseinon, who has a personal interest in road safety.

His 26 year old cousin James Dupplaw, from Killay, died early this year when his Porsche 968 veered off the road and hit a cottage in Buckinghamshire, and Andrew said. "He was not able to control a high performance car and we want to stop that happening to anyone else.

Every 17 year old thinks they are a brilliant driver but this course not only gives them practical skills but also cuts their insurance costs.

It costs £130 and covers driving in town, in all weathers, at night, on dual carriageways and motorways and can be taken up to a year after passing the basic driving test.

When the instructor is satisfied with your performance you get a certificate from the Driving Standards Agency and motor insurers who support the scheme will give a one-year no claims bonus on your insurance. The idea of doing a Pass Plus is to try to improve your odds of staying alive, since new drivers make up just ten per cent of license holders but are involved in 29 per cent of accidents."

Andrew says many parents are giving the course as a Christmas present and those who passed their test more years than they care to remember can also take up the option.

"In their case they must be examined by a police officer in a 90 minute test before they can get the certificate, but they also enjoy savings on insurance cover."

 
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