Advocating change

Empowering young drivers on the road to safety

Published | 7 November 2023

Students from Lilydale District School have improved their road safety skills this week, undertaking distracted driver training to equip them for a life on Tasmania’s roads.

General Manager of Advocacy and Government Relations Mel Percival said the Distracted Driver program, aimed at grades 10, 11, and 12, encouraged students to think critically about safe driving habits.

“The course equips students with crucial knowledge, safety information, and driver confidence, a valuable opportunity to raise awareness and engage students on being safer behind the wheel,” Ms Percival said.

“Simulating real-life distractions behind the wheel of a dual-controlled driver training car, they’re immersed in the everyday challenges of driving, under the instruction of our professional driver trainers.

“The course also includes the distractions of texting and wearing vision impairment goggles to simulate driving under the influence and managing distractions from passengers.

“Distractions, including mobile phone use and passengers, contribute to 24 per cent of fatal and serious injury crashes in Tasmania each year, so it’s crucial to ensure the next generation of road users are educated on safe road practices.

“As part of our community education program, Distracted Driving also highlights the risks of speeding or drink driving and is complemented by a classroom presentation ‘Ready for the Road.’

“We know that young drivers are overrepresented in crash statistics, and we want to reduce these numbers by raising awareness of distracted driving risks early in their driving journey.

Ms Percival said equipping young and vulnerable road users with knowledge and decision-making tools is vital for promoting safer driving habits.

“It’s crucial we educate these vulnerable road users about driver safety and give them the tools they need to make informed decisions about how they act on and around our roads.”

We offer a diverse range of road safety education programs, for more information visit our Community Education page.