Teens in final of driving contest

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Four West Yorkshire teenagers have reached the final of a national driving competition – despite being at least two years away from taking to the road.

Jack Airstone, 14, from Wakefield; Joshua Anderson, 14, from Kinsley near Pontefract; Coban Flintoff, 15, from Ossett; and Alex Lang, 13, from Bingley, entered the Young Driver Challenge 2017 at Church Fenton, where their skills behind the wheel of a car were assessed. Beating off competition from hundreds of entrants the youngsters are among 40 finalists who will travel to the NEC on September 30 to compete for the title of Britain’s best young driver – with all the competitors under the legal driving age of 17.

The finalists compete in two age categories, 10-13 and 14-16, while being scored on driving skills including positioning, judgement, steering and independent driving, as well as manoeuvres including parallel parking.

The competition encourages youngsters to value safe and responsible driving.

Young Driver, which runs the challenge, offers driving lessons to those aged 10 to 17 years old with the aim of reducing the high accident rate for newly qualified drivers.

Laura White, head of marketing at Young Driver, said: “Congratulations to Jack, Joshua, Alex and Coban. We look forward to seeing them at the final, which is the highlight of our calendar.

“The skills these youngsters show behind the wheel is extraordinary. They really would put some of the drivers out there on the roads to shame.

“Our aim at Young Driver has always been to create a safer next generation of youngsters on the road.

“The accident rate for newly qualified drivers is far, far too high and something needs to be done.”