Edinburgh entrepreneur launches colouring book to help learner drivers pass test

A colouring book to help learner drivers pass their theory test has been developed by a young Edinburgh entrepreneur.

Study In Colour will be published next week.

Matthew Carter came up with the idea after failing the test last year, prompting him to seek a better way to memorise the answers.

He said colouring in illustrations accompanying the book’s text made it easier to remember the information, with trainee doctors being taught this way for decades.

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Carter, 24, said it would also boost road safety by sticking in drivers’ minds after they passed their test.

Matthew Carter teamed up with illustrator Katie Forbes to create the Study In Colour book.

The guide, published next week, follows a rise in the popularity of adult colouring books, which have led to them becoming a familiar sight on news stands.

Half the 1.9 million learners a year who take the test fail to correctly answer the required 43 of 50 multiple choice questions, preventing them from taking the practical test.

The female pass rate is 51 per cent compared to 47 per cent among males.

Carter said: “As I trudged home from my test, I was looking at all these people sitting in their cars and thought ‘I’ve got a degree, but I still can’t pass a simple theory test’.

“I had used loads of different ways to try to memorise the answers, from monotonous apps to boring text books, but then I realised I needed to do more than learn them by rote.

“Engaging and colouring in the illustrations help you associate key information with your visual memory.”

Carter, who graduated in product design engineering at Strathclyde University last year, has set up a company, Colour Academy, to launch the Study In Colour book.

He has teamed up with illustrator Katie Forbes, 22, from Tain, an architecture student at the university.

Carter said while other adult colouring books had focused on mindfulness and relaxation, their popularity had “broken a lot of the stigma about adults colouring”.

Driving instructors and motoring experts agreed the book had potential.

Peter Harvey, national chairman of the Motor Schools Association of Great Britain, who runs a driving school in Paisley, said: “I would applaud any ideas that encourage people to spend more time studying for the theory test and avoid throwing their money away on a wasted attempt.

“Far too many take the test without reading important books like the Highway Code.

“It seems to me this publication would help and be a fun way to improve knowledge and encourage more studying before taking the test, which would ultimately be good for road safety.”

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at motoring group IAM RoadSmart, said: “This looks like an interesting innovation.

“Most people fail the theory test because they are underprepared, so if this colouring book approach makes them take a little more time to understand the basic laws that underpin safe driving it has the potential to be a useful addition.”