The Andrews Labor Government has today delivered on its election commitment to improve training and road safety education for young people, launching Road Smart, Victoria’s newest road safety program.
Road Smart uses practical training tools and evidence-based road safety education techniques to better support young people and their supervising drivers in the early stages of learning to drive.
The program will be free to Year 10 or equivalent students in all Victorian schools and, in a Victorian first, includes a new practical driving component.
The new practical component will give young people a unique driving opportunity with an instructor at an approved off-road facility or on-road training with a driving instructor once the student obtains a learner permit.
Following a successful pilot program last year, more than 200 schools have already booked into the program.
“Young and inexperienced drivers face the greatest risk on our roads. The new driving component in this program helps young people develop skills and strategies that will reduce their risk on the road,” Minister for Roads and Roads Safety Luke Donnellan said.
Road Smart includes an interactive classroom session delivered by a trained facilitator; a practical driving session, eLearning modules and a teacher resource toolkit linked to the Victorian Curriculum. Supervising drivers also have access to Road Smart eLearning, providing practical information to support the beginner driver as they get behind the wheel for the first time.
They are also encouraged to attend the free in-car on-road session with their learner to pick up some extra coaching tips.
“Road crashes continue to be one of the leading causes of death for young people aged 18 to 25 years,” VicRoads Acting Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Robyn Seymour said.
“Evidence-based road safety education programs like this can lay the foundations for safe road use in young drivers and help reduce road trauma.”
Road Smart is aligned with Victoria’s graduated licensing system which aims to ensure beginner drivers start learning under lower risk conditions, allowing them to accumulate more driving experience over a longer period.
Since the introduction of the graduated licensing system in 2007, there has been a 20 per cent reduction in the rate of fatal and serious injury crashes involving drivers aged 18 to 20 years.
Road Smart is part of the $146 million Young Driver Safety Package election commitment funded by TAC