CHILDREN as young as 11 are driving in Sheffield and getting away with it - at a new driving lesson centre launched in the city.
The Young Driver centre on Alsing Road, off Meadowhall Way, opened on Saturday and offers children aged 11 to 17 the chance to get behind the wheel of a car and have lessons before they are legally allowed to drive on the roads.
Young Driver Training Limited offers lessons in dual- controlled Seat Ibizas.
Qualified instructors teach youngsters how cars operate and how to drive, including reversing, parking and three- point turn manoeuvres.
The aim is to give children the chance to clock up experience before they have lessons on the roads in the hope they will be safer drivers when they pass their tests.
Research shows one in five newly-qualified drivers crash within the first six months of passing their tests and that novice drivers and their passengers account for one fifth of deaths on the UK’s roads.
Young Driver spokeswoman Kim Stanton said: “We teach 11 to 17 year olds to drive in a safe and controlled environment.
“Lessons take place in brand new dual-control SEAT Ibizas.
“Instructors are all qualified, government-approved Approve Driving Instructors and have gone through training with us to teach this younger age group.
“We have given over 15,000 lessons and have many youngsters returning on a regular basis.
“Saturday went really well and we will be returning in two weeks’ time.
“It is one of the best sites we have in the country because it is so big - we have the space to split it up into zones, such as one were the young drivers can just get used to steering ad one where we lay it out like a road for them to practise on.
“We tend to find that younger children come for a special treats, such as a birthday and the older ones, from about 15 upwards come more regularly because their parents recognise how invaluable this experience is before they have lessons on the roads and take their tests.”
n Visit www.youngdriver.eu or call 0844 3719010.
Lessons cost £29.99 for 30 minutes or £57.99 for an hour.