Funding uncertainty puts keys2drive and young South Australians at risk
The keys2drive program, which has helped more than 6,900 young South Australians become safer drivers and which new research shows almost halves their chances of being injured in a car crash, is at risk unless the Australian Government renews funding in the May budget.
AAA Chief Executive Michael Bradley said: “In the first six months a young person has their P-plates they are 20 times more likely to be harmed in a crash than when they were on their L-plates.
“Since 2008 the Australian Government has funded the keys2drive program, which has helped make young South Australian drivers safer by delivering training to more than 6,900 young people and their supervising driver, usually a parent or other family member. Keys2drive not only teaches young drivers good habits, but also helps to make their mum or dad, or whoever their supervisor is, a better driving teacher.
“Preliminary findings by the University of New South Wales based on data from that state show keys2drive participants were 40 per cent less likely to be involved in a crash that causes moderate to serious injury. It also shows they are 28 per cent less likely to be involved in a road crash of any type in their first six months on P-plates.
“On top of the obvious social impact, road trauma produces significant economic costs. Our analysis suggests that more than $47 million in medical, vehicle and productivity costs have been saved across Australia for a nation-wide investment of just $25 million.”
The AAA has written to every Member of Parliament seeking their support for the continuation of the keys2drive program and has sought $5 million per year in its budget submission to the Australian Government.
“Based on the new research, the continuation of keys2drive can be expected to save the Australian economy around $40 million over the next four years, for an investment of just $20 million over the same period,” Mr Bradley said.
“The AAA recognises the importance of fiscal restraint and budget repair. However, the economic savings alone delivered by keys2drive make it an economically sensible investment in the future of young Australians. Unless this program receives the requested funding we could see up to 180 more young people involved in car crashes across Australia in the coming year,” Mr Bradley said.