Classes for young driv­ing of­fend­ers

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Opinion -

A ROAD safety pro­gram is giv­ing young of­fend­ers a sec­ond chance.

Through WA Po­lice and the Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tive Ser­vices, RAC’s Com­mu­nity Ed­u­ca­tion Team is de­liv­er­ing the pro­gram to young peo­ple aged 13 to 18 who have com­mit­ted driv­ing of­fences.

RAC me­dia and gov­ern­ment re­la­tions se­nior man­ager Liz Carey said the pro­gram de­liv­ered road safety classes in Joondalup, Mount Law­ley, Bel­mont and Rock­ing­ham each Mon­day.

“We teach young of­fend­ers the im­por­tance of safe driv­ing and the ef­fects of al­co­hol, drugs and reck­less be­hav­iour on driv­ing and be­ing a re­spon­si­ble pas­sen­ger,” she said. Last year, 184 peo­ple died in road crashes in WA, mak­ing the State’s fa­tal­ity rate the worst in the coun­try.

Driv­ers aged 17 to 24 ac­counted for 22 per cent of all WA road fa­tal­i­ties de­spite mak­ing up only 12 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion.

“Half of our most re­cent young driver sur­vey re­spon­dents used their phone while driv­ing, while 20 per cent checked so­cial me­dia be­hind the wheel,” Ms Carey said.

The re­sults were wor­ry­ing and re­in­forced the need to ed­u­cate – not just pe­nalise – young driv­ers, she said.

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