Last Chance Driving School

Last Chance Driving School
Wednesday 19 December 2007 9:00pm – 10:30pm on ITV1.

Ten of Britain’s worst drivers, who have either failed to pass their tests or who have been banned from driving, attempt to succeed behind the wheel when they spend one week in the residential Last Chance Driving School under the uncompromising regime of three of the country’s top driving instructors.

Between them the 10 terrible drivers have failed 55 tests, spent £50,000 on lessons, had one license revoked, and one road accident.

Now they find themselves gifted with a golden opportunity to put their appalling track records behind them by taking part in an intensive driving course at a specialist driving school led by some of the country’s leading instructors before sitting the test for hopefully one last time.

All the emotional drama is caught on camera as the students face their biggest driving fears – from reverse parking and observation, to driving at more than 60 mph.

And with them for every punishing turn of the wheel on the road to gaining a much-coveted license are the instructors. Tasked with whipping the students into shape are Tim Eden, an ex traffic cop, senior educator Neil Beeson, and Laurie Jane Taylor, a former drugs counselor who specializes in using psychology on her students.

Innovative and hi-tech tools are also used to meet the challenge of transforming the students from highway hazards to roadworthy. Resident psychologist Dr Lisa Dawn runs detailed personality tests on each of them to help them understand more about how they drive and they undergo computerized brain training to teach their eyes to spot potential danger.

Tim Eden says: “The reason I’m a driving instructor is to make people safer on the roads. Over 3,500 people a year are killed on roads because of bad driving decisions.”

Laurie-Jane Taylor has been an instructor for only two years but already has an incredible 75 per cent pass rate.

She says: “It’s not just about how to put your foot on the gas peddle and go, and then be able to put your foot on the break and clutch and stop. There’s so much more to driving and if we want to make this place safe, you’ve got to get in the heads of these people.”

As the learners begin to crack under pressure and make mistakes, Neil is quick to make them realise that fretting about a minor error may only lead to something much more serious.

“If while you’re worrying about a little mistake you make a bigger mistake – now that could be the end of the world,” says Neil.

Last Chance Driving School reaches a tense and emotional climax as, after a week of intensive tutoring, the instructors decide who is ready to sit their test. None of the students know who faces the examiner first, and some feel they are far from ready, but can they overcome their fears once and for all and take control at the wheel?

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