Cookstown High School and Holy Trinity College students have launched New Driver NI’s 2017/18 schools programme which is being backed by Specsavers stores in Northern Ireland.

Specsavers’ partnership is helping the organisation roll out an advice and information programme to Years 13 and 14 students at secondary schools throughout Northern Ireland.

Local teacher backs initiative

Holy Trinity’s Head of Key Stage 5, Maria Quinn said, ‘Our pupils have engaged with the New Driver NI programme over the past five years. It’s a very successful initiative which young people in our school find engaging and enlightening. They absolutely benefit from the range of worthwhile advice about driving on our roads today.’

Help for new drivers

The young driver initiative is led by Stephen Savage who visits schools to deliver drive safe presentations.

It also provides practical tips and information for learners and new drivers as well as for parents and teachers. The scheme offers online content at and a free magazine is offered to pupils during school visits.

Vital support from Specsavers

New Driver NI manager Stephen Savage said, ‘Without Specsavers’ financial support we simply could not reach the number of students and potential new drivers at local schools and colleges. Driving safely has never been more important. With Specsavers we also aim to drive home the link between good vision and safe driving.’

Regular eye tests recommended

Store director Brian O’Kane from Cookstown Specsavers said ‘Your eyesight can deteriorate very slowly meaning you might not notice when it falls below the standard required for driving. It’s important to have an eye test every two years, or sooner, if you notice a change in your vision.

‘The only time a motorist’s eyesight is tested is during their driving test. The current system relies on drivers to self-test and keep up-to-date with their eye examinations, which not everyone does. The law also states that certain eye conditions including cataracts and glaucoma must be reported to the DVLA.’

All Cookstown store information