Grantham schoolboy is named one of Britain’s best young drivers

Robbie Robertshaw at the 2015 Young Driver Challenge final.
Robbie Robertshaw at the 2015 Young Driver Challenge final.
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A King’s School student has been named one of Britain’s best young drivers at the age of just 14.

Robbie Robertshaw won the accolade at the 2015 Young Driver Challenge – three years before he can officially take to the road.

The Young Driver Challenge took place on Saturday at the NEC in Birmingham, specifically for those under 17.

Forty finalists from across the country competed in two age categories – 11 to 13 and 14 to 16 – and their driving abilities were assessed by judges from across the field of motoring. Hundreds of youngsters from across the country entered the challenge, which was run by the UK’s largest provider of pre-17 lessons, Young Driver.

Robbie came second in the 14-16 age category, impressing the judges with his control of the vehicle, precise manoeuvres and quick thinking behind the wheel.

He won a place on Young Driver’s Prodrive Skills Day, five Young Driver lessons and a half day Young Driver at school session for his class.

Robbie, who comes from Newark, said: “It was fantastic taking part in the final, and I’m very proud of my achievement. To even be in the top 20 for my age group was just a great feeling, let alone to then come second.

“The driving challenge itself really put me to the test. We had to do things like parallel parking, reversing, tight steering, emergency stops and turns in the road, as well as take on independent driving. It was great fun to put everything I’ve learnt in my lessons into practice and to be given the opportunity to get even more experience. Young Driver has given me a good understanding of how to drive, and how to be safe on the roads, which will be really useful when I turn 17.”

Kim Stanton, who heads up the Young Driver scheme, said: “I’d like to say a huge well done to all of our finalists – and of course to Robbie, who did amazingly well. They gave a fantastic demonstration of just how good a driver a young person can be and they should be very proud of their skills behind the wheel.”

The Young Driver scheme was set up in 2009 with the aim of creating safer newly qualified drivers. In the UK, one in five new drivers has an accident within six months of passing their test and road traffic accidents account for 25 per cent of all the deaths of 15 to 19 year olds. Independent research shows that Young Driver past-pupils have 50 per cent fewer accidents than other novice drivers.

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