YOUNG motorists who go through a driving tuition project supported by Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) are more than four times safer than people who do not.

They are also less likely to be convicted of a traffic offence according to latest figures from Pathfinder, the charity which runs the courses funded by the county’s PCC Martin Surl.

Figures show its graduates have an accident rate of 1 in 17 , or six per cent, compared with 25 per cent or 1 in 4 nationally.

Mr Surl said: “Although the sample is relatively small, these are very encouraging figures and suggest The Pathfinder Project delivers substantial benefits to its students.

“The danger with an issue like this is to get carried away with statistics and overlook the scale of the misery and suffering behind them.

"However, when you consider that nearly one in three killed or seriously injured on our roads is under the age of 25 and that more than a quarter of 17 to 19-year-olds, most of them young men, crash within a year of passing their driving test, anything that reverses that trend is to be welcomed."

Pathfinder courses are usually held twice a year in Gloucestershire and are funded through the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan.

John Beckford, Pathfinder Director, said: “Whilst it’s true that we have only started working with the Commissioner recently, these findings are consistent with our previous surveys and support our view that appropriately structured and delivered pre-licence driver development, delivers significant safety benefits to this vulnerable group.

“The number of students who have so far participated in the programme in Gloucestershire is small but it’s hoped these early results will encourage more to take part”.

Suzette Davenport, Gloucestershire’s Chief Constable who is the national lead for roads policing, added: “We know young driver deaths can be prevented by reforming how they learn and establish themselves as safe drivers.

“We welcome this local Pathfinder initiative which seeks to promote and enhance safe driving thereby reducing the risks associated with young and novice drivers”.