Electric car drives home road safety message for kids


A new vehicle has been unveiled in the UK that will provide a way of teaching children as young as five the basics of driving.

Known as Firefly, the vehicle was created after a British driving programme for kids identified a lack of cars that adequately catered for those under the age of 10.

The Firefly is a smaller version of a regular car, but has many of the same features - and it comes at just a fraction of the price, too, with parents able to pick one up for their kids for just over NZ$10,000.

Young Driver, the company behind Firefly, says it can travel at speeds of up to 16km/h, and it will offer lessons to kids as young as five.

Electric car drives home road safety message for kids

The Firefly has working headlights and turn signals (Supplied)

Roger Venn, Driving School general manager at AA New Zealand, says the car will encourage a positive attitude towards driving in the UK and provide an opportunity to learn basic road rules.

"I encourage any kind of structured and professional driver training in a safe and controlled environment for anyone of any age," he said.

"Kids pick up the technical elements of activities like driving very quickly and an opportunity to try it out off the road at a young age is positive."

Electric car drives home road safety message for kids

The car can run for up to nine hours before recharging (Supplied)

Mr Venn says the use of the Firefly in the Young Drivers programme is very similar to an attraction they are introducing at Auckland theme park Rainbow's End this year.

The attraction is called AA Driver's Town, and a track is currently being built that will provide a good driving education for young children, he said.

"[It] will enable children aged 5-13 to experience driving around a model town featuring traffic lights, two-way roads, roundabouts, parking spaces, a car wash and a petrol station".

So while the UK starts preparing to get its own children road-ready - Kiwi parents can rest assured that New Zealand is doing its bit to breed a generation of competent drivers, too.