The Honest Truth Campaign Blog

The Honest Truth

Each year over 825,000 people in the UK pass their driving test and enjoy the freedom and independence of being a driver. However, newly qualified young drivers are by far the highest risk road user group and road crashes are the number one killer of 17-24 year olds in the UK.The Honest Truth is a national road safety campaign delivered through collaboration with the emergency services, road safety organisations and driving instructors across the UK.  Our mission is to deliver no-nonsense, straight-talking road safety education, hence “The Honest Truth”.

We are working hard to reduce the number of deaths on the road. We work closely with a network of Approved Driving Instructors across the UK, providing them with training and materials to inform their young drivers of the main issues relating to road deaths for young people.

The Honest Truth unites the Fire Service, Police, County and District Councils, Community Safety Partnership and Driving Instructors.

For the first time public sector organisations are working alongside driving instructors to reach learners and parents with safer driving messages. Instructors have free resources and a seat at Board level.

It was established following several fatal crashes and in response to research showing that 17-24 year olds make up 10% of the population, but account for 49% of injury-causing crashes between 10pm and 5am.

Girl smiling with truth card - honest truth

The honest truth covers the dangers of:

  • Mobile phones
  • Insurance
  • Drink driving
  • Tiredness
  • Seat-belts
  • Showing Off
  • Passing
  • Distractions
  • Drugs
  • Speeding


We first signed up to the Honest Truth campaign in November 2019 after we discovered the campaign through the First Car Magazine and reached out to Annette.

In the early days, we would visit local schools within Coventry alongside the West Midlands fire service and IAM Roadsmart to present to young pupils about the risks of drink and drug driving and overall road safety. “The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among teens aged 16-19 than among any other age group. In fact, per mile driven, teen drivers in this age group are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.” Given this statistic it is absolutely imperative we educate the younger generations to help reduce fatalities among young drivers.

Younger drivers are significantly at more risk than others, and the Honest truth campaign specifically targets this. Combining what we already do with their materials also, I know I am providing the knowledge to my learners as well as all the learners in the school to understand road safety and how to adopt good driver behaviours.

Instructors are influential on their learners as their driver attitude and behaviours are often duplicated within their pupils. This programme differs from others as the scheme is specifically targeted to a younger audience and provides incentives to ensure the learners get involved. So far, the learners have been eager to get involved and learn the ‘fatal four’ and have understood how this can impact them.

It is important that ADI’s develop new drivers’ behaviour and anything we can do additional to support young or new drivers to understand the seriousness of driving a vehicle can and will save lives. The Honest Truth campaign helps support this and brings local instructors together to work towards a common goal.

If all instructors were to get on board and increase the impact of the campaign, I believe we will see remarkable results. Any additional support we can get from safety campaign groups is worth delivering to new students even if it saves just one life.

Visit the Website and found out how you can get involved at

For more information on instructor training please follow:

SmartLearner blog, Driving FAQ

How is a driving test scored?

There are 3 types of faults you can make:

  • A dangerous fault – this involves actual danger to you, the examiner, the public or property.
  • A serious fault – something potentially dangerous.
  • A driving fault – this isn’t potentially dangerous, but if you keep making the same fault, it could become a serious fault.

You’ll pass your driving test if you make:

  • No more than 15 driving faults (sometimes called ‘minors’)
  • No serious or dangerous faults (sometimes called ‘majors’)

The examiner will:

  • Tell you what faults you made, if any.
  • Give you a pass certificate.
  • Ask you if you want your full licence to be sent to you automatically – give the examiner your provisional licence if you want to do this.

Are schools and teachers responsible for failed tests?

When taking a test, it is down to how you, the pupil performs on the day. Contrary to belief for many the majority of the time your instructor is NOT to blame for you failed test however there are circumstances that may lead to your instructor contributing to your failed test. Again, the test is graded on how YOU perform on the day. After all, your driving instructor wont be in the car with you, unless you request them to be. It is the drivers responsibility to make sure they’re well prepared for their driving test.

Can I get a full driving licence at the age of 17 in the UK?

Firstly you must hold a provisional driving licence which you can apply for a 15 years and 9 months old. However the license won’t become valid until your 17th Birthday. After taking lessons, passing your theory test and getting up to test standard you may apply to take your practical driving test. On the basis that you pass this test you will then receive a FULL driving license. To conclude you can obtain a FULL driving license at 17!

How long does it take to drive a car with more confidence?

Confidence comes with experience and it’s often the unknown that we feel anxious about. The best thing you can do is get out there and get some driving time under your belt. Start small and go for drives to places you know well and once you are comfortable, push yourself to take a different route or go for a longer drive. If you don’t force yourself to go to new places, you’ll never learn how to handle new situations and roads you don’t know. Before you head out, do your research and look at things like Google Street View. Heading into the unknown can be scary but you can minimise this by getting an idea of parking facilities, road layouts and so on.

Choose somewhere fun to go on these little trips because having something to look forward to will make you more likely to make the effort. It could be a drive to go for fish and chips at the seaside, or it could be a drive to go and see your favourite band at a new venue. Choose something you really want to do and drive there!

There are some horrible people in this world and you’ll probably find most of them hassling you to drive faster or make a manoeuvre quicker. Don’t let them! I’m not necessarily saying that it’s fine for you to drive 20mph below the speed limit but if you have to while you are building your confidence, don’t let other drivers make you nervous.

Try to keep up with traffic and speed limits (where safe) but if you can’t, for whatever reason, don’t let impatient drivers hassle you by getting too close. They have no right to do this to you, no matter how you drive!

For those of you who aren’t confident on big roads, a Pass Plus will help you to gain confidence with dual carriageways and motorways. I wish I’d done this, it might’ve saved me a lot of grief as I was very reluctant to tackle these big roads for a long time.

If you want to build you confidence, have some fun and learn a lot about car control, get on track or go for a skid pan lesson. Ever since I drove on track, I feel more confident still about how I handle my car. Not only that but it’s a great experience that will teach you how to handle a car at high speed and will make you more confident when you’re out for a sedate country drive. Because, let’s face it, if you can throw a car around a track, you can do anything!

What are intensive driving lessons like?

Intensive driving lessons at SmartLearner Driving are to be pre-booked with at least 4 weeks advance to allow for our instructors diary to open for you to have as many lessons as you would like. For more info give us a call on 0800 118 2001.

How do I start driving on the motorway?

You might want to consider Pass Plus training to help you learn how to drive on the motorway with guidance from an approved instructor.

Familiarise yourself with the Motorway section of the Highway Code so you feel comfortable with the rules, speed limits and layout of the motorway.

Plan your journey before setting off — make a mental note of the junction numbers where you will be joining and leaving the motorway; it’s not safe to use a map while driving and don’t rely on satellite navigation.

Ensure your car is safe to drive – check your oil levels, brake and windscreen wash fluid and your tyre pressures.

Consider bringing along a more experienced driver such as a friend, parent or other relative for reassurance.

If you would like to book your driving lessons now give us a call on 0800 118 2001!