Specsavers’ partnership with young driver initiative, New Driver NI is helping the organisation roll out an advice and information programme to Years 13 and 14 students at secondary schools throughout Northern Ireland.
To mark the launch Brian O’Kane and Natalie Bradley store directors at Specsavers Cookstown joined Jack Haycock and Sarah Hammond from Cookstown High School and Oliwia Zoledziewska and Ella Dynes from Holy Trinity College as well as Stephen Savage, Manager, New Driver NI.
Holy Trinity’s Head of Key Stage 5, Maria Quinn said: “Our pupils have engaged with the New Driver NI programme over the past five years. It’s a very successful initiative which young people in our school find engaging and enlightening. They absolutely benefit from the range of worthwhile advice about driving on our roads today.”
New Driver NI provides practical tips and information for both learners and those who have recently passed their test to help them stay safe on the roads.
The scheme which is led by Stephen Savage, engages directly with young people by delivering drive safe presentations at schools as well as offering online content at www.newdriverni.com and a comprehensive free magazine handed out to pupils.
In addition to advice on road safety, the New Driver NI roadshows also offer useful and money saving tips on buying, insuring and maintaining a car and also advice on the law and driving. Students, teachers and parents can also keep up to speed with the initiative’s monthly e-zine and social media updates.
New Driver NI Manager Stephen Savage said: “Without Specsavers’ financial support we simply could not reach the number of students and potential new drivers at local schools and colleges.
“Driving safely has never been more important and we aim to provide our young people and their parents with essential, invaluable and useful advice and information to help new drivers be sensible and proficient now and in the future. With Specsavers as our partner we also aim to drive home the link between good vision and safe driving.”
Brian O’Kane said: “Your eyesight can deteriorate very slowly meaning you might not even notice when is falls below the standard required for driving. That’s why it’s so important to have an eye test every two years, or sooner, if you notice a change in your vision.
“The only time a motorist’s eyesight is tested is during their driving test. The current system relies on drivers to self-test and keep up-to-date with their eye examinations, which not everyone does. The law also states that certain eye conditions including cataracts and glaucoma must be reported to the DVLA.”
New Driver NI also partners with PSNI, NI government’s Road Safety Department and corporate sponsors Crash and JMK Solicitors.