ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

From best to worst in six months ? P off??.the spectacular decline of the new driver!

Abbott, Simon, Freeth, Rick

Young Drivers

2003

Did you know that the Learner Driver is one of the safest drivers on the road? Within 6 months of gaining their Provisional License however, they become statistically one of the most unsafe groups of road user.

So how is it that within 6 months of \'going solo\' the new driver goes from best to worst? The answer may seem obvious to anyone who has had experience with teenage children!

Research however, indicates that the problem lies with a volatile cocktail of inexperience,immaturity, driving at riskier times under riskier conditions with powerful motivations linked to the influence of the peer group.

Is this just a fact of life? Do we have to just accept that young drivers are three times more likely to be killed or injured in a road crash, ? or is there something we can do?

The NRMA - ACT Road Safety Trust and the ACT Department of Urban Services have in partnership embarked on a unique integrated graduated licensing system.

The overall general aims are
? To give greater information and education to young people prior to receiving their Learner Licence
? Increase the amount of driving practice during the Learner Phase
? Offer a unique intervention to under 26 year old Provisional drivers during their period of greatest risk

As part of the graduated licensing system, Freebott Pty Ltd has been successful in winning contracts to deliver both the \\\"RoadReady\\\" pre- Learner Licence course and the \\\"RoadReady Plus\\\" program for Provisional drivers.

\\\"RoadReady Plus\\\" is a program that has been operating for two and a half years in the ACT. It takes the form of a facilitated discussion workshop based on participants sharing their driving experiences with other new drivers. It explores the areas of hazard recognition, risk management, the development of safer attitudes and is a timely reminder of how complex the driving task really is!

As an incentive to participate in this program, young drivers receive an increase in their demerit points allowance and the concession of no longer having to display their \\\"P\\\" plates. (The program is also known as the \\\"P\\\" Off program!!)