Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay said the NSW Government had delivered on yet another road safety election commitment, today announcing the 20,000th young driver was about to complete the NSW Government’s Safer Drivers course.
The course is subsidised by the Community Road Safety Fund, which was set up by the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government to ensure every cent from speed camera fines goes back into the community.
“It’s a fantastic day for road safety as our 20,000th safer driver will soon successfully complete the NSW Safer Drivers course,” Mr Gay said.
“It is also a great day for families of young drivers – over the last year and a half, families who take up the suite of measures including the Safer Drivers course and 10 hours of professional lessons have saved nearly 800,000 supervised driving hours.
“Safer Drivers is the first of its kind and offers a new and innovative approach to conventional driving training.
“The course tackles issues beginners face when they start driving, including how to manage unexpected hazards and situations where they feel pressured to take risks, such as running late or having a mate in the car.
“The importance of the course is emphasised when you think young drivers in the first six months on P-Plates are nine times more likely to be involved in a crash involving serious injury or death.
“Last year, we saved 24 lives on our roads compared to the year before and a key contributor to this drop was a reduction in fatalities from P-Plate driver crashes, which reduced by 35 per cent, from 51 to 33.
“In December, one in five young drivers mainly around 17 and 18 years of age completed the Safer Driver course, and I urge more learner drivers to do the same.
“We know out of those who have taken the course so far, more than 19,400 have gone on to get their ‘P’s’ – which is a fantastic incentive for any young driver.
“Regional NSW and Western Sydney have seen the greatest interest in the course. The top 10 electorates for course participation have been The Entrance, Tamworth, Terrigal, Kiama, Camden, Wagga Wagga, Hawkesbury, Wyong, Davidson and Castle Hill.
“We are also giving away 10,000 free Safer Drivers courses to our young Aboriginal drivers, as part of our Aboriginal Road Safety Action Plan.
“The Safer Drivers course is just one of the many initiatives the NSW Government is delivering to keep our young drivers safe. Other successful initiatives include the “Get Your Hand Off It” mobile phone campaign and our “Plan B” drink driving initiative.”
The Safer Drivers course involves a three-hour facilitated group discussion to help learner drivers better understand risks and safe driving behaviours. Participants then undertake a two-hour in-vehicle coaching session to help them manage risks on the road.