The Alchemy Driver Programme is a nation-wide incentive based driving programme developed by the AA Driver Education Foundation, for 15 ?24 age group drivers. The programme has been specifically developed to encourage long-term safe driving behaviour through a range of interventions, which include competency based driving performance, parent/caregiver and wider community involvement and the use of incentives. The programme development was based upon considerable international comment regarding the early development needs of novice drivers, particularly areas relating to over confidence, risk reduction and attitude modification.
As drivers progress through the Graduated Drivers Licence System (GDLS) towards gaining their full licence, points are awarded for achieving specific driving competency activities. When the total points threshold is achieved, drivers are then eligible to collect a range of incentives. These include discounted motor vehicle insurance, discount on motor vehicle parts and accessories and other lifestyle incentives aimed at the 15 -24 age group.
The concept of the programme is based on the premise that most of the 400,000 15 ? 24 age group drivers in NZ are in fact safe drivers and generally display a responsible driving performance. The programme specifically rewards "The Good Guys" and is not influenced by the "Law of the Few".
In developing the programme, several areas had to be targeted, namely:
On an annual basis, approximately 20,000 new drivers join the GDLS each year and the Alchemy target is to attract 1000 drivers annually. Usually, it takes between 18 months and 3 years to complete the GDLS and over that period approximately 3000 drivers would at any one time be in the programme. It is considered that this representation of drivers having a higher level of driving experience and competency may influence crash statistics.
The first participants joined the programme late August 2002 and participant numbers within the first 12 months have exceeded 1200, with an average of 50 sign ons per week. A small number have completed the programme.