DRIVERS are being offered free awareness training after figures showed nine people a week are killed or seriously injured on Avon and Somerset’s roads.

Anyone can sign up for a Road Smart session, but police are keen to attract young motorists as a third of the 452 victims last year were under 25.

Participants will learn about potential hazards on the course, which is being held at venues across the force area, while some insurance companies will reduce premiums for young drivers who complete the workshop.

Supt Ian Smith said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to benefit from a free course that could be a life-saving opportunity.

“Studies show that a significant proportion of collisions are caused by human error and we want to try to help reduce this number.”

The training is delivered by road safety education provider the TTC Group.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “I am delighted Avon and Somerset Police have designed a unique road safety package to further educate all road users, but particularly young drivers.

“Too often I hear of tragic incidents involving young drivers and am very supportive of initiatives to help prevent this.

“Learning to drive can be an exciting time for a young person which brings about independence.

“However it should not be underestimated that driving, at any age, is a huge responsibility. This two-hour session offers valuable insight and I would encourage people to take advantage of it.”

Rowan Webber, 19, who took part in a pilot session, said: “I thought the course was brilliant, really helpful and that everyone my age should do it.”

Courses run from the end of April for the next 12 months, with one versions for under-24s, and another for everyone else.

For further details click on the Road Smart link on this story.