Push for teen drive pro­gram

The Advertiser - Motoring - - News - MARK HINCH­LIFFE

TEENAGE mo­torists should re­ceive cash sub­si­dies to im­prove their driv­ing skills, ac­cord­ing to one mo­tor­ing web­site and a so­cial me­dia out­let.

The call for govern­ment driver train­ing grants fol­lows a na­tional on­line sur­vey which shows one in 10 Gen­er­a­tion Z re­spon­dents aged 12-18, have been in­volved in a car crash.

The ma­jor­ity of Gen Z learn their driv­ing skills from fam­ily mem­bers, rather than pro­fes­sional driv­ing in­struc­tors, ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey con­ducted by web­sites and

Habbo re­gional di­rec­tor Jeff Brookes has called on the Fed­eral Govern­ment to con­sider a sub­sidised na­tional driv­ing skills pro­gram for teenagers, in the wake of the sur­vey find­ings and the re­cent spate of youth road in­ci­dents.

‘‘We are en­cour­ag­ing the Fed­eral Govern­ment to de­velop a na­tional plan to bet­ter pre­pare Aus­tralian teenagers for the road,’’ Mr Brookes said.

‘‘Pro­fes­sional driv­ing lessons can be an ex­pense many fam­i­lies can­not af­ford. How­ever, the skills learnt from a pro­fes­sional in­struc- tor could be life-sav­ing for Aus­tralian teens and oth­ers shar­ing the road. We would like to see in­cen­tives to en­cour­age teens to take pro­fes­sional in­struc­tion at the L and P plate level and for the Fed­eral Govern­ment to con­sider of­fer­ing pro­fes­sional driv­ing pro­grams through sec­ondary schools.’’

The sur­vey of more than 1000 teenagers was not all bad news.

It found that up to 76 per cent would be hon­est about prac­tice hours when ob­tain­ing their li­cence, 84 per cent would not get in a car with some­one who has been drink­ing, 77 per cent would tell a friend to slow down and 78 per cent would al­ways wear a seat belt.

Carhis­tory boss David Scognamiglio says it is en­cour­ag­ing to see Gen Z tak­ing a re­spon­si­ble ap­proach to driv­ing.

‘‘The re­search in­di­cates fam­ily mem­bers are teach­ing new driv­ers the rules of the road and proper safety habits,’’ Mr Scognamiglio says.

‘‘How­ever, the best be­hind-the-wheel train­ing will come from a pro­fes­sional in­struc­tor.

‘‘We con­tinue to see a num­ber of teen-re­lated car ac­ci­dents, which may in­di­cate our young driv­ers are not fully pre­pared to get be­hind the wheel.’’

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