UK Government

Driving Standards Agency (National): DSA & SQA honoured in road safety awards

Press Release   •   Oct 27, 2010 12:43 BST

* Prince Michael International Road Safety Award
* Honour for Safe Road User qualification
* Qualification aimed at 14-16 year olds

An innovative road safety qualification developed by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) in partnership with the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) will today receive a prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award.

The Safe Road User Award is aimed primarily at 14-16 year olds. It aims to influence young people's attitudes to road safety and give them a solid grounding in safe road use before they learn to drive. Holders who go on to learn to drive can take a shorter version of the car theory test. The qualification was piloted at Balwearie High School in Kirkcaldy.

The Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards are presented in recognition of outstanding contributions to improving road safety.

Announcing the award, HRH Prince Michael GCVO said: "I am delighted to present this award. It is a pioneering and ingenious approach to senior school road safety education."

Jill Lewis, DSA's Director of Driver Education and Learning said: "DSA is delighted to receive this special award for a special qualification. Not only does the Safe Road User qualification increase the students' knowledge and awareness about using the roads, ultimately it could also save their lives.

"We're delighted that our collaborative work with SQA has been a success and that the students and teachers of Balwearie High School speak so positively about how relevant and useful the qualification has been."

Dr Gill Stewart, SQA's Director of Qualifications Development said: "SQA, DSA and Balwearie High School are absolutely delighted to receive the award. We believe the Safe Road User qualification really changes young people's approach to road use and this recognition underlines our belief.

"The success of the Safe Road User Award showcases the hard work undertaken by all to ensure delivery of a truly fit for purpose qualification."

The award will be presented by HRH Prince Michael GCVO today (Wednesday 27 October) at the Road Safety Scotland Annual Seminar 2010 at Dunblane Hydro.

SQA is marketing the qualification to schools, colleges and other education providers across the UK. Although aimed at 14-16 year olds, it's open and relevant to everyone who uses the road, whether as a passenger, cyclist or pedestrian.

* For more information, please contact Liz Wilford in DSA Press Office on 0115 936 6119 or

Notes to editors

1. For further information about the Safe Road User Award see

2. The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is the national accreditation and awarding body in Scotland.

3. SQA works in partnership with schools, colleges, universities and industry to provide high quality, flexible and relevant qualifications and assessments - embedding industry standards where appropriate. It strives to ensure that SQA qualifications are inclusive, accessible to all, that they provide clear progression pathways, facilitate lifelong learning and recognise candidate achievement.

4. The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is one of the Executive Agencies that forms the Motoring and Freight Services (MFS) group, within the Department for Transport.

5. Information on road casualties is available from

6. DSA promotes road safety through setting standards for drivers, riders and trainers, testing drivers and riders fairly and efficiently, maintaining the registers of Approved Driving Instructors; Large Goods Vehicle Instructors; Fleet Trainers; `Driving Instructor Trainers and Post Test Motorcycle Trainers; supervising Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) for learner motorcyclists; and driver education and the provision of learning resources.

7. DSA is a trading fund with planned turnover of £201.4 million in 2010/11, largely funded through fees and revenue from other road safety initiatives. It delivers tests from over 400 practical driving test centres and 158 theory test centres.

8. DSA employs nearly 2,700 staff, of which almost 1,900 are driving examiners. In 2009/10 DSA conducted 1.5 million practical car tests, over 55,000 vocational tests. Over 8,500 motorcycle tests were delivered from 1 April 2009 to 26 April 2009. On 27 April 2009 the new, two part motorcycle test was introduced. 50,778 module one tests and 37,866 module two motorcycle tests were delivered between that date and 31 March 2009. A total of 1.5 million theory tests were carried out. At the end of 2009/2010 there were around 44,768 people on the Register of Approved Driving Instructors.

9. DSA was one of the first Government agencies to introduce an online booking service at


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