Driver training in Finland.

Keskinen, E. Hatakka, M. Katila, A. Laapotti, S. & Peraaho, M.

Finland adopted a two-phase driver education system in 1990. After the first phase of training the candidate takes a driving examination to obtain a temporary driving licence valid for two years without any special limitations. The second phase of training consists of an analytial part, a practising part and feedback. It is possible to carry out the first phase of training in a driving shool or privately with parents. 80% of candidates choose professional training. The second phase can be carried out only in a driving school. There is no examination after the second phase, but evaluation of driving skills is done in order to give feedback. Theoretical starting points of the Finnish system are embedded in cognitive, hierarchical theories of driving behaviour and in theories of constructive learning. The crucial idea is that as far as driving safety is concerned, the important factors affecting driving behaviour are on the highest level of the hierarchy, ie goals for life and skills for living. This refers to drivers' motives and skills in controlling their behaviour and impulses, and the effects of emotions. Young driver problems, especailly young males' problems are not only a question of knowledge of traffic rules and controlling the car, but a problem of controlling one's personal motives and controlling oneself. Recent Finnish accident trends show, that during the nineties after the renewal of driver training system some positive trends were found in novice drivers' accident rate. At the moment the second phase of training seems to be effective. It has also been evaluated that the two-phase structure enables further development of driver education. For example larger use of personal experiences in training is possible. (Author/publisher).

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I E102171 [electronic version only] /83 / IRRD E102171

IATSS Research. 1999. 23(1) Pp78-84 (6 Refs.)

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