Four children and their careless parents learn about road safety. On their first day at the academy, Joe Swash challenges the teams to drive around a tricky obstacle course.
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'Four kids fed up with Mum and Dad's driving.'
-That's too fast!
-I'm all right.
'Four parents who have fallen into bad habits.'
Dad, you're driving too fast!
'Ten days to change their ways, before facing
'the ultimate driving test and our examiner Sandra.'
That could be some kid on a bike.
Just sad about Rhys. Could have been him.
'Join CBBC on a quest to create a nation of safer road users.'
'Find out who will pass and who will fail.
'This...is Driving Academy.'
Hello, I'm Joe Swash and welcome to CBBC's Driving Academy,
here in St Athan, Wales.
We've ten days to fix four parents' bad driving habits
and bad behaviour on the roads.
We'll be putting their children in the driving seat, too,
so they'll experience what it's like to be a safe road user,
and hopefully, pass it on to their parents.
Let's get this show on the road!
Slow down, you dumpling!
'Coming up on today's Driving Academy...
'Stunt dummy, Mr C, highlights a huge danger on the road -
'The teams smash through a steering themed Superskills Challenge.'
'Our super-tough examiner Sandra will be awarding those
'all-important pass marks at the end of the day.
'Not forgetting, there's a dirty forfeit if they fail!
'It'll be tough so our drivers best watch out!'
'Let's meet the teams about to face the Driving Academy...
'They have one thing in common -
'the kids think their parents' driving needs improving.'
'Each day, we will be teaching our rookies
'a different part of road safety,
'which they can hopefully pass on to their parents.
'They aren't allowed to drive on public roads,
'but at the Driving Academy's test centre, anything is possible.
'In charge of our learner lessons is the Academy's elite instructor,
'With 24 years instructing, she knows every angle of road safety.'
When you learn to drive it's key to realise what a responsibility it is.
'Although Vicky may appear a passenger,
'she has a set of dual controls so our rookies are always safe.
'This first lesson is car control.
'Here we go!'
-We're going to stop. You ready?
-Foot on the brake, keep the clutch down.
Now, put your foot on the brake.
Bring the clutch up.
-Bring the clutch up a tiny bit more.
Smile for the camera, then!
'While our kids aren't finding driving easy,
'our parents head for real roads with our examiner, Sandra Dodson.
'Testing drivers for over 20 years,
'there isn't much she doesn't know about road safety.
'Sandra's keen to find out how bad our drivers really are.
'Over-confident Andy is in the firing line first,
'as he comes under pressure trying to park.'
That's not good.
'You always this careless, Andy?'
'In the car with Dad, you feel nervous,'
like, you're going to die,
cos he's dangerous and doesn't know how to drive!
I trained as a jockey when I was young
and that has a lot to do with my driving.
Once a jockey, always a jockey.
'At the Academy, Molly appears cautious
'and it seems to be working.'
-Hold it still.
Good girl. That's better.
Molls! Keep your hands on the wheel!
You feel good, really proud of yourself,
when you're going, steering, and turning around.
'Eagle-eyed Sandra has put nervy Michelle on edge
'as she attempts
'to reverse park into a space.'
'How far are you from the kerb?! You could get a bus in there!'
-Will I go again?
-See if you can sort it out.
'Why is she getting so flustered?'
She started off with one bump, then she had another in the same month
and now she's awful!
Jono says I'm a nervous driver.
I tell him, wait till you drive and see what it's like!
'Well, Jono is driving and I have to say...he's doing rather well!
'Are these two definitely related?!'
-Look at you go!
-Doing a nice ten miles an hour!
Well, in a way,
when I did it myself, my mum's driving looks a bit worse, really!
'Next up to face the test is speed-loving Cliff.'
Being honest, I drive faster than I should do.
Limits are there for a reason.
If the speed limit is 40 miles per hour, I could be doing 60, maybe.
He shouldn't speed and go over the limit,
that's why I'm taking him to Driving Academy.
'Manisha doesn't have the same problem with speed.
'But, em...Manisha? Where are you going?'
Straight, towards me.
This isn't very straight!
Now straight, down there.
The steering was the hardest bit.
I could control the pedals but steering was quite hard.
Next time, I'll show I can steer well.
'Last up for Sandra is green team's careless driver, Sarah.'
Rhys would say my driving is scary. I prefer to call it 'relaxed.'
I can rescue this.
Well, it's a method.
'Not great but it can't all be bad.'
I want you to turn your car around to face the opposite way.
'Oh! Watch that kerb!'
That wasn't too bad(!)
Not too bad?! Bless.
'Sandra's not impressed. Sarah didn't use her mirrors.
'What does she think they're for?'
She does her make-up whilst driving.
She's got her knees up, going...
'That casual style has rubbed off on Rhys.
'He's really letting loose.'
Good, and now put on a little gas for me.
Whoa, off the gas!
'Slow down, Rhys lightning!'
-Oof, that's too much, wasn't it?
I've learnt how easy it is to go fast,
just by putting your foot down, just a little bit.
'Our kids had a great first lesson
'but for our parents, it's a relief it wasn't a real test.
'The Academy has its work cut out!
'Examiner Sandra is really concerned about one of our parents.'
Turn in the road was fine... as long as you didn't mind
using someone's drive, every kerb there was.
Just not checking around, making absolutely sure.
Is it safe for me to move this vehicle?
The difference between... That could be a kid on a bike.
I know you think it's a bit funny about the make-up,
but honestly, there are dead people cos of things like that.
I pray to God it would never be one of yours.
'Well, Sandra's strong words have really hit home.'
Just sad about Rhys. Could have been him.
'That's lesson one over.
'Our kids have a lot to learn
'and their parents are nightmares behind the wheel!
'This isn't looking good for our Superskills Challenge,
'when our teams' steering ability will be tested to the limit.'
I was nearly a crash-test dummy!
'To stand a chance of passing
'our teams are going to have to drive a lot better than this.'
Now for a safety lesson.
One of the biggest causes for accidents is distraction.
Worth remembering next time you and your brother row in the back
as your parents drive.
Strap in and don't be a dummy!
'Let me introduce you to the biggest dummy at Driving Academy.
'We call him Mr Crash for good reason.
'Whenever he's behind a wheel
'e can't keep his eyes on the road and it always ends badly.
'he question is... what's going to distract him today?
'...on the passenger seat?
'...in the back?
'...on the dashboard?
'What does a dummy need lipbalm for?
'They all look innocent,
'but can our teams spot the dangers that they pose?'
'This isn't for points so why don't you play too?'
Lipbalm, there's a map.
'That's right, Cliff! To check your map, always pull over.'
Lean behind to get something out of the bag.
'Nice one, Sarah! Rummaging in your bag, that's a big no-no!'
'What a good spot from Andy.
'Never leave anything on your dashboard.
'So, all 3 objects can cause a crash, but which will distract Mr C?
'Have a guess, while I check for hazards in the road.'
Someone's left a sheet of glass in the middle of the road.
That's careless, don't you think?
Uh-oh! I think Mr C's coming this way.
Best make a quick exit!
'Any normal person will see the glass but you never know with Mr C.
'Chances are though, something'll catch his eye!
'Remember, all 3 objects can be dangerous.
'There's a map if he gets lost,
'and a cheeky lipbalm.
'Last chance to guess.
'Off he goes.
'All's looking well.
'Nice and steady, Mr C. Nice and steady. That's it.
'No! Mr C! Don't look at your map.
'WATCH THE GLASS!'
'Did you get it right at home?
'The map caused the crash.
'Mr C, you're a lost cause!
'Mr C is a fully-trained stunt driver
'and all his crashes are performed by experts.'
'Stay tuned for our Superskills Challenge,
'but first, before you go near a car
'you should learn the rules of the road - the Highway Code.
'Our teams have been studying furiously
'for the next part of the show - the Highway Quiz.'
Hi, guys and welcome to our first Highway Quiz.
Today's is, Which Line Is It Anyway?
You have red, yellow and white ones, doubles and singles
but do you know what they mean?
In front of you is a piece of road.
I'll describe a line and I want you to paint it.
You need three out of five to win this...
-..the Highway Quiz badge!
Don't need a Blue Peter badge, do you?
Rollers at the ready for question one.
Some have gone for yellow, some for white.
We all finished?
Here's how it should have looked...
Jono, I think we should leave it there and move on.
Manisha, kind of, wrong colour.
Molly and Rhys, they're like worms but the right colours.
I'll give you two of the points.
If you see this sign outside a school, don't park there!
We know who you are. We will find you!
Ready, guys, for question two?
-I think that's about right.
Pleased with what you've done? Step back to your kids.
-Here's how it should have looked...
You all sound confident.
You've all got points, well done!
'Currently, the blues and purples have one point each.
'Remember, they need three out of five to pass.'
Are you happy with everything? OK.
Here's how it should have looked...
Don't be sad, I'll let a few slide. Apart from you, Jono!
That's the wrong colour, shape and there's nothing in the middle!
Manisha, yours is very nice. So is yours, Molly and yours, Rhys.
I'll give you a little artistic licence and let you away with that.
'Michelle needs this point
'if she and Jono are going to stand any chance
'of getting their badge today.'
This is what it should have looked like...
Let's have a quick look.
Michelle, you've got a triple red line.
That's a big parking ticket!
The rest of you, well done. You get the points.
OK, happy with what you've done?
This is what it should have looked like...
Jono! Congratulations! You got one right!
Manisha, well done, you got it right.
You needed three out of five right.
Jono and Michelle, you didn't earn your badge this time.
Manisha and Cliff, well done. Great start.
Molly and Andy, well done.
Sarah and Rhys. You've got your badge too, there you go.
Keep revising. At the series close, there's a Highway Quiz showdown.
Next up, don't move cos we've got our Superskills Challenge!
The moment has finally come.
It's time for our Superskills Challenge.
Our teams pick up the first part of the series.
We're going to test them on everything they've learnt today
with a game called Mind The Gap - it's all about car control.
And this Superskill's got three key stages -
two for the parents, then one for the rookies.
First up, we have the tricky traffic lights.
Our parents have to squeeze through in the correct colour sequence.
Next up, we have Agony Archways.
One little touch on these fellas
and they'll crash down on our parents' cars
and finally, my personal favourite, Car In The Wall.
Our teams choose to go
through one of these very tight gaps.
If they fail, they will face a very mucky forfeit indeed -
but the rules are simple...
If a team takes more than five minutes, they fail the challenge.
If they drive safely and confidently,
they'll finish with time to spare.
If anyone drives dangerously,
they'll be failed by Sandra.
The Driving Academy's Chief Examiner's word is final.
If Sandra says fail - there's no arguing!
What Sandra doesn't know about road safety isn't worth knowing.
Car control comes from good planning,
from seeing ahead, from seeing behind, from taking your time.
You do that and the car control - that just comes naturally.
The teams had better beware as they take on the Superskills Challenge.
So they're off. Remember, this challenge is to squeeze through
the gaps without knocking over more than three obstacles.
Whilst driving a car, be aware of how big it is -
that's exactly what this game is testing.
-OK this side.
-The first section is the tricky traffic lights.
The parents drive through the lights in the right sequence,
that's red, red/amber, green, amber, red - easy, eh?
I'm really struggling with my sequence. It's red, red/amber...
-After that, it'll be green.
-Are you sure?
-Red/orange, you said.
-There, there, there, there! Trust me.
It's really tight.
This section tests the parents' car control,
in particular, their steering and ability to judge distance.
Oh, that's OK. It looked tight. It's OK.
Michelle is hoping Jono's picked up enough tips to help her through.
Now you're going to spin round.
Oh, you're not going to make that.
But already she's made a really bad turn!
Oh, bad luck, Michelle!
In real life, that light would have caused serious damage to your motor.
They smashed it up!
That's one obstacle destroyed by the Blues - two more and they'll fail.
Haphazard Sarah's using
the close-your-eyes- and-hope-for-the-best technique,
not the best way to steer a car.
It explains why she's approaching our next lights
from the wrong direction.
Er, which way round are we going?
-You're supposed to go...
-Yeah. I'm wasting time. Silly, silly me.
The pressure of the five-minute target
is getting to one of our teams.
-Will you please slow down?!
-Oh, my goodness!
-Dad, will you please...?
-I had to go out to come back...
We've got a reckless driver on our hands here.
-Dad, will you...?
-Molly, you're all right.
-You're going too fast!
-I'm going all right.
-We've only got five minutes.
But whilst Molly's losing it with Andy's speeding,
our other speeder, Cliff, is showing great car control.
For somebody who's constantly boasting about going too fast,
he's actually behaving very well.
Come on, Dad, we only have five minutes.
You're always speeding and now you're not going to speed.
Strangely, she's encouraging him to hurry up.
-You're going too fast. I don't like it.
-We've hit one now.
That's one obstacle down for Andy -
but how can he concentrate with all Molly's arguing?
I don't know, Dad!
I said go there, there, there and there, but you wouldn't have it!
-Can I hear them arguing in the car?
-There was a big argument going on.
This is such a distraction to people's driving and it's not safe.
You just won't listen to me, will you?
-I'm sorry, but that was hair-raising.
-That was dangerous.
So that's one obstacle down for the orange team AND the blue team.
Now the second part of the course for the parents - Agony Archways.
This section will test our teams' awareness
and one of my dummies is about to hold up a warning sign.
Why? Because it's too small, that's why.
They'll only see it if they look.
-So where am I going now?
-Go through the arches.
Most of them have missed it completely...
Come on, give us the go.
..apart from a certain observant Andy.
"Do not go through the second archway."
He's the only one. He's looked in his mirror.
So whilst he and Molly drive through arches one and three unhampered,
the others face impossible arch number two.
-How am I going to get through there?
I ain't going to go through there.
Sarah's about to knock over her first obstacle.
That's it. You rev it!
Nice of Rhys to offer his mum some support,
so that's Green's first mistake.
Michelle's set to knock down her second of the challenge.
Oh-h, here it goes!
One more knock-down and the Blues will fail this challenge.
Cliff's heading for his first mistake.
Hang on a sec. What's he up to?
Good man. At least he's seen and taken proper action.
He's decided to give it a miss. Well done, Cliff.
No knock-downs yet for the Purple team.
Are you allowed to miss it?
-I don't know. Too tight to go through.
For the third and final section, the drivers are swapping.
It's time for the kids to impress. Will they outshine their parents?
Whilst Vicky takes up the dual control, the parents get a taste
of life in the back seat.
-Be careful now, Molly.
-Coming from you!
This is Car in the Wall.
The kids must drive through one of these tiny car-shaped gaps
without knocking the wall down,
and they need to park up safely before their time runs out.
So all the pressure is on Rhys now.
Sarah has already knocked down one of the Agony Arches.
She also lost a lot of time in the Tricky Traffic Lights...
I'm wasting time.
..which means Rhys has just over a minute to finish.
-Can he do better than his mum?
-Slowly, take a look and choose.
-What do you reckon?
Decision time for Rhys.
Car control is key here but he has to watch his time.
He's going for the middle arch.
-That's it. Slowly, slowly, slowly, slowly.
-Line it up before you go through.
-Here he goes.
-Easy does it.
-I didn't knock it down.
-Keep going, keep going.
Amazing! Lucky boy, Rhys, but in real life
that would have caused some serious damage to your paintwork.
OK, pressure's on Molly now.
Dad has knocked down one of the items on the Tricky Traffic Lights,
but he didn't hang around
and Molly now has a huge three-and-a-half minutes to finish.
Let's see if Molly can stop shouting
and start concentrating on her driving to make it through the wall.
-Good luck. Break a leg.
-Dad, please shut up.
Molly, you're all right. Just take it easy, darling.
-You'll have to go quicker.
-Dad, I know! I'm trying!
OK, it's crunch time.
Molly really needs to keep her cool and keep control of the car.
-Just stop shouting at me, please!
-I haven't shouted at you.
You're making me so nervous, Dad!
OK, here she goes. Will she make it? Oooh! Oh!
-Oh, you're going to hit it.
-Dad! Oh, no!
-Whoa, Molls, there's no need for language like that!
Didn't help her, did he?
But that's only two knock-downs so they should be OK.
OK, here goes Manisha and, remember,
dad Cliff's had no knock-downs.
But his slow run has left her with just over a minute,
and we all know she struggles with steering, so fingers crossed.
Keep turning. Slowly, slowly. Go over there. Don't... Keep going.
-OK. Get yourself a big swing to get in.
OK, it's decision time. Manisha needs to keep calm
and try and steer straight through that hole in the wall.
-Go through it.
-It doesn't go.
-Straight, straight! Aggh!
-Oh, my God!
Oh, no, she really panicked there,
but that's only one knock-down for the Purple team.
Finally it's Jono.
Nervous driver Michelle has already had two major knock-downs.
She's left him with one minute to complete the course.
If he runs out of time or knocks down the wall,
they'll fail, so no pressure, then, Jono!
-Do you fancy that one?
It's all on this moment.
Good. Well done. That's it. Gently.
-I'm quite small and I can barely see anything.
Oh, it's not looking good.
Blues, you have a mucky forfeit coming your way.
Move your steering over to the...
Hang on a minute- looks like he's going to make it.
I tell you what. I don't understand how that arch is staying up.
That's just two obstacles down for the Blue team.
None of the teams have knocked down more than two obstacles -
all they need to do now is park up safely within the target time.
Oh-h! Easy on the brakes, Molly.
Finally, Manisha comes in to land. Oooh!
Oh, had to put the brakes on then.
I was nearly a crash test dummy down there, weren't I?
That is not good. Vicky had to slam on the brakes to avoid an accident.
It's all down to Sandra to decide what's a pass and what's a fail.
Firstly, I think that was a tough task,
so I think, all in all, that was quite well done.
The traffic-light sequence, that went awry, I'm afraid.
Remember scraping through the hole in the wall?
-In real life, you would have scraped your car.
-Today, we're going to scrape you a pass, so congratulations.
That's pass mark No.1. Good stuff.
One of the obstacles we hit was a traffic light. We crushed it.
I could see this coming cos I knew my mum is not amazing at driving,
at this moment in time.
I'd like to, basically, do better for both of us,
but to prove to Jono that I can do a lot better than we've just done.
Rhys, how do you think your mum done?
She did OK, but she did go through the traffic lights the wrong way.
She did actually rectify it, however,
I do recall you hearing you say something about a trick
through the arch, nobody could get through.
How can I get through? Reckon you can't?
If you'd looked in your mirror before you set off, you would have seen
a special message telling you not to attempt it.
So the bad news is, you're out of time by five seconds.
Bad luck, Rhys and Sarah, but rules are rules.
She took three turns to go through the traffic lights.
If I hadn't positioned myself wrong for the red light,
he'd have passed. Sorry, Rhys.
How do you think it went?
-Molly did good, when she knocked the wall down.
You argued when you came through,
when you went through the arch and when you swapped the seats.
-What does arguing end up in?
Most importantly, you looked in the mirror and saw the message,
so I have to congratulate you for that.
Technically, you've passed. So I'm going to say you've passed.
But your behaviour and attitude
and the way you are together in the car needs to be so much better.
You scraped that pass, but you need to sort out your attitude.
We went really fast and crashed into a lot of stuff.
I still don't know how we passed.
It's difficult trying to drive while someone's in your earhole...
I won't lie, Cliff, we had our concerns about your speed.
I had to keep turning, so I couldn't build up my speed.
We agreed that you'd keep to your speed.
But you were encouraging him to speed. "Come on, Dad!"
Don't encourage him. What happened when we came to the stop?
She stopped for you. You have to get control.
Sorry, but it's too serious to ignore,
so I'm afraid you haven't passed.
Sorry, but dangerous driving cannot be tolerated here at the Academy.
When we had to stop and park, I didn't brake.
I was panicking, thinking, "Is there time left?"
When she was driving towards the dummy, I wanted to shout,
"Press the brakes, stop the car!"
So, let's get down to the business end of things.
I'd like to hand a pass to Molly and Andy. Congratulations.
Secondly, I'd like to hand out a pass to Jono and Michelle.
As for you guys, you have a forfeit.
Here are your toothbrushes, there's your cars and buckets.
I need it clean. Thank you.
Next time, Driving Academy sets more challenges for kids
to help improve their parents' shocking driving.
The teams tackle the tricky issue of reversing.
Our rookies drive up close with a few traffic cones.
Mr C wallops his way through more distractions at the wheel.
And we've got a football-themed Superskills Challenge.
In just nine days' time, our teams will face the ultimate driving test.
Join us next time on Driving Academy.
Until then, stay safe!
-Can't do this again tomorrow, Rhys.
-Come on, clean it.
-It'll be Andy and Molly tomorrow.
-Look at your car, Dad!
This is terrible.
It's just getting muddier!
Dad, I didn't say go there, did I?
CBBC's Driving Academy, a top-secret training centre dedicated to road safety, is determined to make the UK a nation of safer road users. During an intense fortnight of masterclasses, four children and their careless parents learn about road safety and safe driving while having some serious fun along the way!
Joe Swash, along with road safety experts Sandra Dodson and Vicky Lovell, presides over the ten days of training, aided and abetted by a team of crash test dummies. There are thrills, spills and bumps along the way - who will pass and who will fail the Ultimate Test at the end of the series?
On their first day at the academy, Joe challenges the teams to drive around a really tricky obstacle course and squeeze their cars through the tightest of gaps. Can they do it without destroying their cars? The rookies have got their work cut out for them as they try to improve their parents' terrible driving habits.