With more than 30,000 licensed vehicles in Cayman, and 2,000 new licenses issued yearly, it is undeniable that Cayman is in desperate need of a youth driver’s education programme.
The first such voluntary programme of its kind was launched in September to a full class of eager 16- and 17-year-olds from across the island. The programme, which is funded by the Flowers Sea Swim proceeds, takes place at the Breakers Speed Way on Saturday mornings.
‘The programme consists of three parts: theory, mechanics and, of course everyone’s favourite part, driving,’ programme coordinator Aileen Samuels said in a press release.
Students receive a unique opportunity to drive in a controlled track environment where they can build confidence and learn driving basics before going out into a real road traffic situation.
Several dignitaries and supporters were on hand for the programme official launch ceremony. Governor Stuart Jack even took a loop around the track with one of the learner drivers. Mr. Jack expressed support for the programme as well as Works Minister Arden Mclean and representatives from the Department of Education and the police.
‘We were very pleased with the turnout,’ sponsor Frank Flowers said. ‘All of the profits from the Flowers Sea Swim went toward this cause. We are so happy to make this dream a reality.’
Looking to the future, Mr. Flowers was optimistic. ‘Right now we have about 30 students. We hope to expand the next programme series to allow even more young drivers to learn these very valuable life tools.
‘The programme is very expensive to run and right now we are looking for interested companies or persons that would be wiling to donate to this very worthy cause so that it can continue to grow and be a benefit to our community for years to come.’
Mr. Flowers is in the process of negotiating reduced insurance rates for students who have gone through the 15-week programme. Students receive a written and practical exam at the completion of the course.
Sixteen-year-old student Julia Watling summed it by saying: ‘this program is the most awesome introduction to the whole new world of driving. Waking up early is well worth it.’
A host of supporters make the programme possible, including, Tropicana Tours, Robert Campbell, Aileen Samuels, Vincent Walters, Greg Rivers, Progressive Distributors, Parents and the Flowers Group.
For more information or to join the next program series call 949-5299 or email [email protected]