"Every kid deserves a chance to get behind the wheel and get their licence," Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan said as he helped celebrate the 200th drivers licence achieved by the Northern Victoria L2P (Learner to Provisional)program.
Young and inexperienced drivers face the greatest risk on our roads with road crashes continuing to be one of the leading causes of death for young people aged 18 to 25 years.
L2P is a community-based program that recruits mentor volunteers to provide supervised driving experience to learner drivers under 21 years of age who find it difficult to meet the mandated 120 hours of driving practice due to family, economic or other circumstances.
The L2P program is being delivered as part of the Victorian Government's $146m Young Driver Safety Package, a suite of five road safety initiatives targeted at improving the safety of these vulnerable road users.
The Northern Victoria L2P programs include Shepparton, Strathbogie, Mitchell and Murrindini, all of which are managed by community organisation, Berry Street.
Since 2010, the Northern Victoria L2P programs have helped 200 young people get their P plates, thanks to more than 120 volunteer mentors.
The L2P program has helped more than 3,000 disadvantaged young Victorians get the skills and support they need to become safe and responsible drivers, Luke Donnellan said.
L2P not only helps disadvantaged young Victorians get their licence. It also boosts their driving skills for future employment and deters unlicensed driving, he said.
The Victorian Government has already delivered on its election commitment to provide $16 million over the next four years to continue the L2P learner driver mentor program. For more information, go to Lessons from the road for supervising drivers.
Safety issues for young driver
Young drivers are consistently over-represented in Victorian road fatalities and crashes.
Research shows that the main causes of this are inexperience:
- exposure to challenging driving conditions like late-night driving and multiple passengers.
- drink driving and drug driving.
- driving while fatigued.
- mobile phone use
- disobeying road rules.
- commonly by speeding, tailgating and failing to give way.
- driving older cars with less safety features.
Safety initiatives for young and new drivers
To improve safety for young and new drivers, VicRoads has developed a range of initiatives.
The current safety programs focus on:
- encouraging learner driver experience, with an emphasis on 120 hours driving practice.
- education through school and community programs.
- licence tests and restrictions that minimise high-risk driving (high powered vehicle and zero BAC restrictions).
- penalties and incentives to encourage safer driving.
- an improved Graduated Licensing System.
- Involving parents.
Research suggests that parents can play an important role in their child's safety on the roads.
The Transport Accident Commission's (TAC) Safer P Platers campaign is designed to inform parents of the unique risks faced by young drivers and provide them with a range of strategies to improve their children's safety. VicRoads was a key contributor to this campaign alongside the RACV.
For more information visit saferpplaters.com.au