South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership
Take Control - Novice and Pre-driver Course

Young people often find it difficult to appreciate the consequences of the decisions they make.  These decisions can affect all areas of life, including academic achievements, relationships, and wellbeing. However, the consequences of an impulsive decision are often seen most tragically on the roads.

The reasons why young people are more prone to making impulsive decisions are complex but are now understood to be associated with the brain’s development and a desire for peer acceptance.

Impulsivity has been defined as:

Action without forethought or conscious judgement (Moeller, et al. 2001)

It has also been associated with, or characterised as, “an ability to offset an immediate reward for a great reward later” (Solnick, et al. 1980).

What is Take Control?
This is a road safety course that focuses on improving the participant’s awareness of when they are likely to make impulsive decisions and helps them to develop ways to manage this. Whilst it is focused on road safety, the lessons learnt are equally applicable to other areas of life

What does the course entail?
The course comprises of 2 x 1-hour classroom sessions. We will ask some participants to complete questionnaires for evaluation purposes (see below for further information).

Given the current Covid 19 issues, the course can be delivered to classrooms via Zoom, Teams or Google Hangouts / Classroom. A presenter from South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership will host the course with support from your staff. Your staff will be asked to supervise the class facilitated by the presenter. The course can be delivered to group sizes of approximately 30 students. All students should be in year 12 or year 13.

Does it work?
There is strong evidence that courses similar to this have had a positive benefit on road safety. Research has found that up to 4 years after attending the course, young people had fewer speeding offences and collisions.

Based on the work above, we are now working with Ian Edwards, a PhD researcher at the University of Sheffield and a road safety practitioner with over 30 years of experience, to refine and evaluate a course that was piloted in Northern Ireland.  The evaluation of this pilot course, completed by the University of Ulster, found that immediately after the session there was a significant positive change in the participants’ decision-making intentions.
What are we asking from the evaluation?
The exact nature of the evaluation is still being considered.  However, it is likely to take the form of three questionnaires that will be completed online by your students.  We may also wish to complete interviews with a limited number of the students and some members of staff.

These interviews will take approximately 30 minutes. An appropriate format for these will be agreed with the school as soon as the evaluation strategy has been finalised.  All elements of the evaluation will have been reviewed and approved by The University of Sheffield’s ethics panel.
All our sessions and initiatives are completely free for your students.

For more information please contact