Soham 12 year old is one of the best young drivers in the country
PUBLISHED: 12:29 03 September 2015 | UPDATED: 10:55 08 September 2015
A 12 year old Soham student has been named one of the best young drivers in the country.
Ashton Sherwood competed in the national finals of a challenge aimed at encouraging a safer generation of future motorists.
Soham Village College pupil Ashton said: “It was fantastic taking part in the final, and I’m very proud of my achievement. To even be in the top 20 for my age group was just a great feeling.
“The driving challenge itself really put me to the test. We had to do things like parallel parking, reversing, tight steering, emergency stops and turns in the road, as well as take on independent driving.
“It was great fun to put everything I’ve learnt in my lessons into practice and to be given the opportunity to get even more experience.
“Young Driver has given me a good understanding of how to drive, and how to be safe on the roads, which will be really useful when I turn 17.”
Ashton entered the competition at Young Driver’s Lakeside venue and took part in the 11-13 age category at the final of the 2015 Young Driver Challenge.
He took his place at the NEC challenge as one of 40 finalists chosen from hundreds of entries.
Kim Stanton from Young Driver, which ran the contest, said: “The current accident rate for youngsters is shockingly high - one in five crash within six months of passing their test.
“We believe it is vital to get youngsters learning to drive at an earlier age, so they can gain more experience and when they’re more naturally receptive to safety messages.
“Ashton and the other finalists really worked hard, and should feel very proud of themselves.”
Young Driver aims to create a safer next generation of young motorists and has delivered more than 250,000 lessons in 37 venues.
Research shows that for past pupils, the accident rate drops to one in ten, from the national average of one in five who crash within six months of passing their test.
Ashton was judged on practical driving skill and theoretical knowledge as well as being tested on manoeuvres and skills like parallel parking, figures of eight, braking, steering, judgement and positioning.
Drivers also had to complete an online driving simulator which tests their knowledge of the Highway Code.
Prizes up for grabs are driving lessons for 40 of his friends, a young driver at school session for the driver and their classmates and £500 off car insurance.