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12-year-old student from Willaston wows Fifth Gear presenters with stellar driving skills

Fifth Gear presenters have crowned Luke Dundas, from Willaston, as one of Britain’s Best Young Drivers.

The young man from Willaston has been recognised as one of the best young drivers in the country after entering a national driving competition.

Luke Dundas, aged 12, was handpicked as one of the 40 finalists for the UK’s Young Driver Challenge 2019.

The competition took place on 7th September 2019, where Luke was one of 23 finalists in his age range.

Competing in an environment where safety wins the race, not speed, Luke impressed the judges with his working knowledge of reversing, parking, manoeuvring a slalom, handling junctions and independent driving.

Thanks to his precision, positive attitude and overall judgement, Luke stood out from the crowd and won a complimentary 60 minute Young Driver gift voucher, a medal and a signed copy of Quentin Willson’s latest book, Learn to Drive without Tears and Tantrums.

“It’s been a brilliant experience. I was really pleased to have made the final from hundreds of entries … it is definitely going to help make a safer driver when I do go on to pass my test!”

Luke Dundas, Britain’s Best Young Driver 2019 Finalist.

In an interview, Luke told Mersey Community News how he was “proud” to play his part and represent Willaston.

Luke said: “It’s been a brilliant experience.  I was really pleased to have made the final from hundreds of entries and I am really proud of how I performed on the day.

“The instructors put us to the test with lots of driving challenges, but it was good fun and a great opportunity to improve my driving skills in a Vauxhall Corsa. 

“It’s definitely going to help make me a safer driver when I do go on to pass my test – hopefully first time like both of my brothers!”

Luke Dundas, pictured alongside Fifth Gear presenters Vicki Butler-Henderson and Quentin Willson

“It was fantastic to see how well the drivers handled the car, especially when some of them are just 10 years old.

“It was clear to see how seriously they took the responsibility of being behind the wheel and it was an honour to award all of them with their prizes, as they were all thoroughly deserved. “

Vicki Butler-Henderson, Fifth Gear Presenter and judge at the Best Young Drivers 2019 Competition.

During the course of the competition, entrants such as Luke were kept under a watchful eye by qualified driving instructors.

Fifth Gear presenters Vicki Butler-Henderson and Quentin Willson kept a quiet watch over the competitors before handing out the prizes.

Ms. Butler-Henderson said: “It was fantastic to see how well the drivers handled the car, especially when some of them are just 10 years old.

“It was clear to see how seriously they took the responsibility of being behind the wheel and it was an honour to award all of them with their prizes, as they were all thoroughly deserved.  

“Hopefully all these youngsters having the opportunity to learn at an early age will create a safer next generation of young drivers for our roads – which is a huge benefit to us all.”

Driving safety has been a key concern amongst residents across Merseyside for many years.  In 2016, there were 482 recorded collisions in the borough, leaving drivers, passengers and pedestrians with serious injuries. 

On a national scale, one in five newly qualified drivers has an accident within six months of passing their test.

However, statistics also reveal that for those receive early driver tuition, shows that rate drops by a half.

Young Drivers launched 2009 with a mission to educate young people on the importance of driving safety, and has since delivered over 740,000 driving lessons across the country.

Sue Waterfield, head of marketing for Young Driver, has also commented on Luke’s success.

Mrs Waterfield said: “Young Driver’s aim has always been to help our young people be safer drivers, by giving them that extra time to get to grips with how to handle a car long before they have the pressure of being anywhere near a main road.  

“Of course, it’s also great fun to safely have the chance do something you wouldn’t usually be able to – and many parents tell us it’s a huge confidence boost for their children!”

To find out more about the Young Driver Scheme, please visit the Young Driver website at: https://www.youngdriver.com

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