Driver programme aimed at NZ’s youth
A new driver programme for young drivers is aimed at reducing accidents and fatalities.
The Holden Street Smart driver programme has been two years in the making and is designed to address specific challenges for young drivers.
The newly launched programme will replace the Driver’s Directions course that was jointly held by Taupo¯ and Rotorua District Councils.
‘‘Having seen our programme both [councils] have decided that Holden Street Smart is the equivalent, if not better, so they will not do Driver’s Directions anymore,’’ programme director Hayden Dickason said.
‘‘The overall outcome is going to be better, we are effectively doing what Driver’s Directions did and with the councils no longer holding their programme, they are able to do what they haven’t been able to do in the past.’’
The day-long Holden Street Smart programme runs during school holidays, in a controlled environment, away from the open road and other motorists. Participants experience a variety of scenarios and situations as they transition through 10 practical stations in their own car, accompanied by their parent or caregiver.
Specific exercises as part of the day-long course include head on collison, following too close, emergency braking, peripheral vision, and hazard identification.
Holden spokesperson,Marnie Samphier, said they wanted to develop a practical course that provides real-world driving experience using internationally proven methods.
‘‘Statistics tell us that fatal crashes, where the driver’s contribution is significant, are more likely to involve drivers under 24 years,’’ she said.
‘‘A lack of experience and awareness results in poor decision making on the roads and we believe this new programme can help address this area of concern.
‘‘It is sometimes assumed that young driver accidents are predominantly drug and alcohol related, this is an issue, but 60 percent of all fatal crashes involving this age group do not feature either of these contributing factors.’’
The programme will be held in Taupo¯ at the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park on April 24 and registration is done online.
The Holden Street Smart programme is set to start in Taupo¯ next week.