HC Deb 11 July 2002 vol 388 cc1112-3W
Mrs. May

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what evaluations have been conducted on the efficacy and value-for-money provided by the Driving Standards Agency's schools liaison programme; [68365]

(2) if he will place in the Library copies of guidelines and regulations given to the Driving Standards Agency with regard to their schools liaison programme; [68368]

(3) what Driving Standards Agency expenditure was on their schools liaison programme in each of the past five years; and what financial provision is being made for future development of such programmes; [68362]

(4) how much was spent (a) per school and (b) per school that actively took part by the Driving Standards Agency on their schools liaison programme in each of the past five years; [683631

(5) what funding requests his Department is planning for the Driving Standards Agency's schools liaison programme; [683641

(6) if he will make a statement on the selection procedure for schools to take part in the Driving Standards Agency's schools liaison programme; [68367]

(7) if he will list the schools that took part in the Driving Standards Agency's schools liaison programme. [68366]

Mr. Jamieson

In our road safety strategy "Tomorrow's Roads—Safer for Everyone" we gave the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) an expanded remit to contribute to improvements in road safety for young and novice drivers by establishing, developing and disseminating high standards and best practice in driving and riding on the road. We committed DSA to boosting road safety education in schools by expanding its programme of presentations to schools and colleges. Copies of the "Strategy" are available in House Libraries, and I am arranging for copies of the "Arrive Alive" material to be placed there too.

The schools programme was recently renamed "Arrive Alive" to reflect the wider target audience that has developed since the scheme was launched in 1996. Driving examiners now visit and make presentations to a wide range of organisations including schools and colleges, the armed forces, agricultural colleges, youth football teams, probation services and young offender units. There is no rigid procedure for DSA selecting schools, colleges or other institutions in which to carry out the presentations. In some cases a local Road Safety Officer will ask DSA to take part in a road safety presentation. In other cases, interest might be generated by a visit to the "Arrive Alive" website.

Independent research carried out in 1997 by the British Institute of Traffic Education and Research (BITER) concluded that the schools programme had proved effective in promoting key safety messages and in moulding attitudes among potential drivers.

The Department has funded the programme since 2000. Prior to that, DSA obtained funding from private business and from surpluses generated by DSA's non-statutory commercial activity—mostly the sale of books. DSA spent £65,000 in 1997–98, £94,000 in 1998–99 and £25,000 in 1999–2000. In 2000–01 funding by the Department amounted to £250,000 and in 2001–02 to £500,000. We plan to increase funding so that as many young learners and novice drivers as possible can benefit from the important road safety messages that the programme conveys—£750,000 for 2002–03 and £1 million for 2003–04.

Presentations are delivered to schools, colleges and the other institutions free of charge. Each presentation costs the Agency an average of £74 for the presenter's travel and subsistence.

In 2001–02, DSA delivered some 2,800 presentations to a number of organisations: A list has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

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