LONDON, UK, – March 19th, 2008 – GreenRoad Technologies an innovative leader in driver safety technologies, today announced that Staffordshire County Council (http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk) is the first UK council to deploy GreenRoad Safety Center to improve teen driving.
As part of its Young Driver Coaching Programme, the council is starting by installing GreenRoad Safety Center in 50 cars driven by local teens. These young drivers will get instant feedback via red, amber and green LEDs in their car showing how well they are driving. Teens and parents will also be able to log onto a web site to review each journey. Teens that drive well will be rewarded under a “Safe Miles” incentive scheme.
“Neuroscience research has revealed that the human brain cannot effectively assess risk and consequences until the age of 25. This makes young drivers an especially high risk on the roads,” said Adrian Hide, Road Safety Manager, Staffordshire County Council. “GreenRoad Safety Center is like a virtual driving instructor providing feedback and encouragement after young people have passed their driving test.”
The council is launching this very exciting initiative on May 23rd 2008 where there will be the opportunity to view the in-vehicle data recorder on a test drive as well as finding out more about this potentially life saving scheme. Families that have been using the equipment will also be in attendance to discuss their experiences to date and will also be able to unveil their first set of results on the website. Invitations will also be extended to potential sponsors who are interested in partnering in this initiative.
GreenRoad users have reduced accidents by an average of 54 percent and lowered accident costs by an average of 65 percent. By empowering drivers to manage their own safety, and understand how to drive more responsibly, GreenRoad can make teens safer behind the wheel. Safe drivers also use less petrol. With GreenRoad Safety Center, fuel consumption is typically reduced by 7 – 10 percent.
“Although teen drivers only represent 10 percent of the population, 40 percent of local accidents involve young drivers,” continued Adrian Hide. “And whilst male drivers are particularly at risk, more young women are killed as passengers than for any other reason. We are making progress towards the national goal of reducing accidents by 40 percent by 2010 except when it comes to young drivers. We believe GreenRoad can make the difference.”
“It is encouraging to note that a number of families from Stoke-on-Trent are involved in the programme” said Jim Tunney, Team Manager for Road Safety and TravelWise with Stoke-on-Trent City Council. “Clearly, we view this innovative programme as making a positive contribution to casualty reduction among young drivers.”
“Young drivers are at risk more than ever before. They have increased access to cars – in fact many have their own cars – and the same size engine is higher powered than ever before,” said Aidan Rowsome, VP of GreenRoad Technologies EMEA. “Staffordshire is leading the way nationwide with this pioneering initiative to make the roads safer.”
GreenRoad Safety Center rates driving skills without invading the driver’s privacy or tracking their location. An in-vehicle sensor collects information on over 120 different driving manoeuvres. These are analysed to give the driver feedback about their driving and the areas that need improvement. Safety Center can provide feedback by SMS and on the Web at the end of each journey and will make reports available to teens, their parents and the council.
Staffordshire Council has hired Dr Fiona Fylan from Brainbox Research to help evaluate the results from the trial and develop a personal development log for each driver.
Reaction from users
Among the first participants in the scheme are Malcolm Harris and his 18-year-old daughter Steph, from Bignall End. Steph Harris commented, “I admit that I drive too quickly, but I think most people my age tend to. At first I wasn’t too happy about the thought that my dad could watch how I was driving, but I’m getting used to it, and it’s making a real difference.”
Malcolm Harris is optimistic that the system can make a real difference to his daughter’s driving. “I worry sick about her when she’s out in the car. I know she drives too quickly, but I don’t want to be a nagging dad. This technology is wonderful because it can present her with the stark facts,” he said.
Staffordshire Council’s Young Driver Coaching Programme aims to help young drivers from the time they start having driving lessons until 12 months after passing their driving test. The Council is collaborating with a network of 250 local driving instructors and using e-learning and workshops to educate parents on how to be mentors. More information is available from Staffordshire County Council’s Road Safety Unit, telephone 01785 276617 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
GreenRoad develops driver safety technologies that stop risky driving before an accident occurs, and dramatically reduce crash rates. Its solutions are designed to empower drivers to manage their own safety by giving instantaneous, in-vehicle driver feedback—without invading privacy. Over time, GreenRoad has proven that it can change driver behaviour behind the wheel. The result is fewer accidents, lower accident costs, and reduced fuel consumption and CO² emissions. GreenRoad is backed by Benchmark Capital, Virgin Green Fund and Balderton Capital.
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Staffordshire County Council
Road Safety Unit
+ 44 1785 277265