EDT stands for Essential Driver Training, a course for learner drivers with permits for category B vehicles, such as cars and light vans. EDT will help learner drivers to develop some of the most vital driving skills as well as improve knowledge and understanding of road safety.
Essential Driver Training (EDT) for learner drivers becomes a legal requirement in Ireland on 4 April 2011 which means that any person getting their first learner permit with a start date on or after 4 April 2011 must successfully complete 12 hours of driver training over a six month period (average of one lesson every two weeks) before they can sit their driving test.
EDT is not simply 12 hours of driving lessons with an ADI. A learner driver will only get the maximum benefit from the lessons if they also conduct at least three hours of driving practice with their Sponsor in the two week period between EDT lessons.
Research shows that if learner driver training focuses on 12 specific high risk road safety topics it would make a real difference to the safety of learner / inexperienced drivers on our roads and these are the areas that will be covered by the 12 one hour EDT lessons. Safety issues such as correct road positioning, changing direction, anticipation and reaction, managing speed and night driving.
EDT will provide a high quality consistent level of training for all learner drivers and will help to save lives and reduce serious injuries by developing better, safer, drivers. It is designed to protect learner drivers who are vulnerable on the roads because of their inexperience. In fact, 17-24 year olds are one of the highest risk groups on Irish roads and are three times more likely to be killed in a collision than the rest of the population.
Programmes similar to EDT which combine formal instruction and supervised practice are in place in some other EU countries and this is recognised as an effective way to learn to drive.
EDT can only be provided by an Approved Driving Instructor and the list of RSA approved trainers and training centres can be found on www.rsa.ie
A Sponsor supervises the learner driver’s driving practice between lessons.
In order to get the maximum benefit from the lessons, the learner driver must do at least three hours of practice in the two week period before and after each EDT lesson and the best person to do this with is a Sponsor.
This is a responsible role with whom the learner driver feels comfortable, for example a family member, parent, aunt or uncle and of course and ADI if you wish.
The Sponsor must be able to give a learner driver time and commitment to helping them learn to drive, stay calm and patient under pressure and demonstrate good driving behavior themselves.
Sponsors must hold a full car driving licence for at least two years but more importantly should have lots of driving experience that the learner driver can benefit from.
I’ve provided further information on EDT here.