Driver pro­gramme aimed at NZ’s youth

Taupo Times - - OUT & ABOUT - STEPH RANGI

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.

SUP­PLIED

The Holden Street Smart pro­gramme is set to start in Taupo¯ next week.

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