AAA Welcomes keys2drive Funding
Australia’s peak motoring organisation, the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), has welcomed today’s Federal Government announcement, confirming Federal funding of $17 million over five years for an innovative new national driver training program, keys2drive.
Today’s announcement was made by Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, the Hon Anthony Albanese, and AAA President Alan Evans, at the RACT in Hobart.
Keys2drive, which has been developed by the AAA motoring clubs, will provide a free professional driving lesson by a qualified instructor for Learner drivers when they bring their supervising driver to the lesson.
To complement the learning experience of the free lesson, a keys2drive website will provide information, education and links to other driving sites.
Mr Evans said the program is designed to improve the standard of learner driver training and reduce the crash risk of young people. Learner drivers are the safest drivers on the road, but when they begin solo driving their crash risk rises dramatically (see chart at end of document).
“This is a tremendous initiative for young drivers — keys2drive will provide an extra incentive for Learners to get more on-road experience and will assist supervising drivers to become better informed and more confident in undertaking their important role,” Mr Evans said.
“In many cases the supervisor may have had no involvement with driver education and training for many years.
“AAA’s national research shows that the community is very supportive of efforts to improve driver education and training. Some 84% of people surveyed nationally believe more driver education and training is either extremely or very important in preventing road deaths and injuries.
“We know that, nationally, nearly a third of people killed on Australian roads are aged 16 to 25 — yet they represent only 15% of the population.
“Supervising drivers — who are often parents, brothers, sisters or friends — can find teaching their Learner a daunting and stressful task.
“Many supervisors also underestimate the risk that young drivers face. As a result, some Learner drivers are not getting an optimal number of hours on the road and are not being exposed to sufficient variety of road types and conditions.
AAA and Australia’s motoring clubs led the development of the keys2drive concept, which is based on programs being conducted by motoring clubs. The program will be available to drivers and supervisors in early 2009, after a pilot test later this year.
“We welcome the Government’s announcement and look forward to developing and promoting keys2drive as a program to improve young drivers’ skills by ensuring they receive better training from their supervisors,” Mr Evans said.