Cumbernauld teen named one of Britain’s Best Young Drivers

A Cumbernauld teenager has been named as one of Britain’s best young drivers.

Liam Shields took second place in the Young Driver Challenge 2021 – specifically for youngsters who aren’t yet 17

Liam Shields (14), who attends Our Lady’s High School took part in the final of the Young Driver Challenge 2021 at the British Motor Museum in Warwickshire.

Liam was one of 40 talented finalists, all aged under 17, earning second place in the 14-16 age category.

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The challenge is organised by Young Driver, the UK’s largest pre-17 driving school, and 2021 marks the seventh year the competition has run.

Competitors compete in two age categories – 10 to 13 and 14 to 16 – and take part in a variety of driving activities including reversing, parking, manoeuvring a slalom, handling junctions and independent driving.

Drivers are behind the wheel of new, dual controlled Vauxhall Corsas with fully qualified driving instructors who assess their abilities and skills.

The aim of the Young Driver scheme is to create a safer next generation of drivers – in the UK one in five newly qualified drivers has an accident within six months of passing their test, but this drops dramatically for Young Driver past pupils.

Liam said: “I can’t believe I placed second! I’m so pleased! I came along just wanting to try my best and I really enjoyed myself. So, to find out I’d won second place was fantastic.

"I feel like my driving skills are improving all the time, I love being behind the wheel and improving with every lesson. By the time I get on the road at 17 I should already know how to safely control a car which is a great feeling.”

TV presenter and motoring expert Quentin Willson awarded the finalists their prizes.

For taking second place Liam won five 60-minute Young Driver lessons, a £50 restaurant voucher, a trophy and a signed copy of Quentin Willson’s latest book: Learn to Drive without Tears and Tantrums.

Sue Waterfield, head of marketing at Young Driver, said: “It’s been a great final, the drivers all performed amazingly. Liam should all feel very proud of himself, it’s a fantastic achievement.

"Anyone watching the finalists drive can see how beneficial it is learning at such a young age. They’ll take that forward with them as they learn on the road at 17 and then as qualified drivers.”