Enhanced training and structured lesson planning for young drivers in New South Wales
Young driver safety in New South Wales has improved over the past decade. The graduated driver licensing system in New South Wales is a blue ribbon system reflecting world best practice, but further developments are possible. In December 2009, New South Wales introduced a structured lesson plan program for learner drivers where 10 one-hour lessons with a professional driving instructor can be credited as 30 hours towards a minimum 120 hours learner driver logbook requirement. Driving instructors have to document the specific lessons conducted and relate them to the structured program of learning and practice as listed in the logbook.
The new program developed from a review conducted by Safety and Policy Analysis International that examined means for enhancing training for learner drivers, and which was strongly influenced by European novice driver and licensing developments. In this paper, the concept of structured lesson planning for learner drivers will be outlined, and the results of a preliminary analysis of learner driver log book records prior to and after the commencement of the new program will be presented. Ongoing research over the 2010-2012 period will include the continued analysis of learner driver log book records, an analysis of the range of lessons conducted by driving instructors, and interviews and focus group discussions with learner drivers, parents and supervising drivers, and driving instructors. This paper also discusses further developments for novice drivers, including: the keys2drive program; the novice driver program; a revision of Rotary programs for young drivers; learner driver log book runs; learner driver mentoring by volunteer supervising drivers; and education programs focused on training of young drivers in the workplace.