News

Motoring Matters for Every Australian

7.9.2007

Australia’s peak motoring organisation – the Australian Automobile Association – today presented an innovative model to improve driver training aimed at ensuring young drivers receive better tuition.

The concept – keys2drive – would see the Commonwealth funding a professional driving lesson by a qualified driving instructor for learner drivers when they bring their supervisor – usually a parent or carer.

The keys2drive program is a centrepiece of an election strategy announced today by the AAA on behalf of its Constituent motoring clubs, their 6.5 million members, families and all road users.

The AAA strategy – Motoring Matters for Every Australian – lays out a comprehensive plan to tackle road safety at a number of levels, as well as calling for greater action on the environment and greenhouse gas emissions.

“While there is a major focus on the funding of road infrastructure, we call on all political parties to realise that bringing down the tragic road fatality rate of an average 5 deaths a day needs a comprehensive approach at a number of levels,” AAA Executive Director, Mike Harris, said.

Mr Harris made the comments in delivering Motoring Matters to Federal Roads Minister Jim Lloyd and Opposition spokesman Martin Ferguson at Parliament House in Canberra.

“There is real community concern about the high levels of crashes, injury and death among young drivers. AAA believes that those most responsible for teaching young drivers – whether they be parents, siblings, carers or friends – are not trained to teach the basics and the specifics of driving.

“This keys2drive program acknowledges that responsibility, and provides some of that training through a free lesson for driver and teacher.”

Motoring Matters calls for major action on a number of fronts to reduce road trauma. It is in line with AAA’s “safer systems” approach to road safety – safer drivers in safer cars on safer roads.

These proposals are backed by AAA’s latest research into motorists’ attitudes and concerns, which was undertaken by ANOP in April and May this year. The survey shows motorists have concerns about driver behaviour, fuel prices and alternatives, road funding and vehicle safety.

This research is directly reflected in AAA’s calls through Motoring Matters for:

• increased funding for the national AusLink network, black spots and regional roads around Australia;
• reform of fuel taxation;
• increased vehicle safety testing and inclusion of latest safety features;
• reductions in urban congestion and greenhouse gas emissions; and
• increased focus on the National Road Safety Strategy and its targetted reduction in deaths.

Mr Harris said AAA and the motoring clubs were talking to all parties about these vital issues in the context of the Federal election.

“The Federal election represents an opportunity for us to ensure safer motoring in Australia - the proposals in Motoring Matters for Every Australian represent a real chance to address the incredibly high and completely unacceptable rate of death and trauma on Australian roads,” he said.

“We look forward to discussing these proposals with the political parties and gaining their support for our proposals.”

Motoring Matters for Every Australian can be viewed on AAA’s website at www.aaa.asn.au or through the Club websites.

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