Geared to be top drivers

A broken arm didn't hinder Jade, who was named the driver with the best attitude
A broken arm didn't hinder Jade, who was named the driver with the best attitude

A couple of Midlothian schoolgirls have been named as two of Britain’s best young drivers – years before they can officially take to the road.

Jade Anderson (14) from Bilston, and Chiara Johnston (13) from Cardrona, were taking part in the 2015 Young Driver Challenge.

The duo, who competed in different age categories, were the only two finalists from Scotland – and both attend Beeslack High School.

Forty finalists from across the country competed in two age categories – 11-13 and 14-16 – and their driving abilities were assessed by judges from across the field of motoring.

Hundreds of youngsters from across the country entered the challenge, which was run by the UK’s largest provider of pre-17 lessons, Young Driver.

Jade was presented with the special Admiral Award for Best Attitude for her positive determination, despite being in recovery from a broken arm, with the cast removed only a few days before the final. The award is a cash prize of £200.

Both of the girls impressed the judges with their control of the vehicle, precise manoeuvres and quick thinking behind the wheel.

Judges at the final in Birmingham, included representatives from the Institute of Advanced Motorists, Admiral and Goodyear, along with several highly qualified driving instructors.

Jade said: “It was fantastic taking part in the final, and I’m very proud of my achievement. I can’t believe I won the special award.

“I just tried my best in each test as I hoped to do well in the competition. I love my driving lessons, but to be selected as the driver with the best attitude is extra special.”

Chiara added: “To even be in the top 20 for my age group was just a great feeling. The driving challenge itself really put me to the test. We had to do things like parallel parking, reversing, tight steering, emergency stops and turns in the road, as well as take on independent driving.”

Kim Stanton, who heads up the scheme, said: “I’d like to say a huge well done to all of our finalists – and of course to Chiara and Jade, who both did amazingly well. They gave a fantastic demonstration of just how good a driver a young person can be and they should be very proud of their skills behind the wheel.”