Ireland’s young drivers are being urged to sign up to take part in a major road safety challenge which could earn one of them the title of ‘Ireland’s Safest Young Driver’ and the chance to drive free for a year.
The competition, which will put the driving skills of more than 60 young drivers from across Ireland to the test using innovative in-car ‘black box’ technology, is organised by leading accident services provider CRASH and supported by the Hooper Dolan Insurance Group.
Young drivers aged between 17 and 21 who make it to the shortlist – which will include young men and women from every county in Ireland – will have their vehicles fitted with Ingenium Dynamics, an award-winning driver behaviour management system which will monitor and help to improve their driving habits over a 10-week period as part of a wider campaign to promote road safety awareness.
The young driver with the best overall driving score will win a total prize fund worth €4,000 to help keep them driving over the next full year.
This includes €1,500 towards insurance, €1,500 towards fuel costs and €1,000 towards other motoring costs. Each provincial winner will also receive €500 towards motoring costs.
Tony McKeown, Sales and Marketing Director at CRASH, said: “As one of Ireland’s leading provider of accident services, we know only too well the devastating impact accidents can have on people’s lives.
“Younger drivers in Ireland remain most at risk and in need of guidance on road safety issues. We hope that this competition will help to raise awareness of those issues in an exciting way that will help to focus their attention and allow them to learn along on the way.
“We very much want to promote the use of the telematics systems to monitor and improve overall driver behaviour. This is being used by some insurers in Ireland to reward young drivers with lower premiums and we think this will only increase in the future”
Mayo GAA star Cillian O’Connor, who is supporting the competition, said: “As a young driver myself, I know it is difficult to get on the road due to the high cost of motoring.
“As a sports person I am fully aware of the need to monitor and improve each area of your performance. Ingenium Dynamics does this for driving. I think it would be great if new drivers were able to prove they are good drivers and get rewarded with lower insurance.”
School Principal, Jarlath, Burns said:“As a parent of three young drivers and principal of a large school, I am concerned about their safety on the road. I have used the Ingenium Dynamics system for over a year now myself. It offers great peace of mind to know where my children are and how they are driving.
“I can discuss driving performance with them as the system gives a comprehensive record of how they are doing. It is so important that young people continue to develop their driving skills after their test.”
Once installed inside the vehicle, the ‘black box’ continuously measures speed, geo-positioning, braking force, rate of acceleration and severity of cornering. The data is transmitted by a SIM card to a central computer where it is processed and assessment is made as to whether the driving behaviour is low, medium or high risk.
The competition is open to eligible young drivers aged between 17 and 21 who meet the required qualifying criteria and have their online applications returned by the closing date of Friday 21st February 2014.