The SAFED scheme aims to create safer roads and cut pollution and has now provided free training to its 1,000th driver since launching in February.
Originating from a scheme in the heavy goods vehicle industry, SAFED, which stands for Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving, trains drivers to make fuel savings and spot potential accidents.
The first stage of the programme was to train trainers and the second part was to start the training of drivers.
Claire Shrewsbury, SAFED programme manager, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted. The early stages of the programme involved putting in place our network of 300 trainers across England, so to reach our 1,000th driver trained at this stage is a huge achievement.
‘SAFED training is providing some impressive results, showing that on average, drivers trained in the SAFED way can improve their mpg by more than 15%, reduce the number of times they change gear by nearly 35% and reduce the number of demonstrated faults by 60%, all without any major impact on the journey time.’
Those behind the programme say they are confident they can reach their target of training 7,500 drivers by March 2007.
Shrewsbury added: ‘SAFED has a really strong network of trainers across England, and we are confident that we will reach our target of 7,500 van drivers by March 2007. This a fantastic scheme, which offers enormous benefits to individual drivers, companies and the industry.’