History of YDI in Scotland

Young Driver Interventions (YDIs) were first launched in the USA and have gradually been adapted for the UK over the last ten years. Increasingly, in Scotland, schools are taking advantage of YDIs which are run by Community Safety Partnerships.

These can take a number of formats:

  • Live shows with the emergency services doing demonstrations, and victims of road accidents talking about their experiences
  • Theatre in Education performing Friends Disunited, a play for senior secondary students dealing with becoming a driver followed by ‘meet the professionals’: Police, Fire Service, etc.
  • Practical hands-on experiences with breathalysers, safety cameras etc.

Many of these YDIs are held in venues away from the school. Others are held within the school. Such interventions are numerous and inventive and evaluations can vary from robust independent research, to short questionnaires handed out to attendees on the day. It is the diverse nature of such events that has attracted interest and invited questions as to how successful they are.

To this end, RSS set up a working group to collate information about these young driver interventions and assess the extent to which they are rolled out nationally, with the engagement of community partners.

This group embodies representation for Police, Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Ambulance Service, Road Traffic Engineering, Road Safety, Scottish Government Education Directorate and a Young Driver Behaviour Specialist. Data about interventions south of the border and further afield has been tabled and outside speakers invited to give presentations. An intern was appointed through the Centre for Scottish Public Policy as a Road Safety Events Reporter, to complete the mapping exercise.

Get into Gear has been developed by this working group.

Around the world:

“A wide range of interventions have been employed, including on- and off-road training and in-class education, both pre- and post-licence. While it would readily be possible to distinguish training (which is concerned with skill acquisition) from education (which is concerned with knowledge acquisition) in the driving field, there is little evidence that people note the difference.”

McKenna (2010)

Amongst older students receiving road safety education (RSE) it is important to distinguish between those not yet old enough to drive on the public roads but who intend to do so when of age (pre-drivers), those currently under instruction with provisional driving licences (learners), those already qualified and with some experience of solo driving (drivers), and the small but finite group intending to postpone learning to drive (increasing numbers of indebted higher education students). The presence of different groups in your audience will have consequences for your objectives, and for evaluation of the success of your Intervention.


Education in Road Safety: Are we getting it right? McKenna, F. (2010) Report 10/113. London: RAC Foundation.