Young Drivers and Road Safety Attract International Attention
The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) today welcomed the initiative of the FIA Foundation for Automobile and Society in bringing together world experts in an international policy forum entitled “Road Safety and Young Drivers” in Budapest this week.
This Forum is being conducted to coincide with the motoring clubs’ annual Conference Week. Almost 300 delegates from 50 countries - representing more than 100 million motorists - are attending.
The Executive Director of the AAA, Lauchlan McIntosh, speaking at the opening of the Forum, said the issue of young drivers and proper training for road safety was an international issue despite the differing driving conditions and cultures in many countries.
“This topic is of interest around the world,” Mr McIntosh said.
“In Australia - at the instigation of our national government and particularly our Deputy Prime Minister, John Anderson - we have embarked on a major study of the benefits of specialised post licence driver training program.
“Some 14,000 young drivers will be involved. Governments, car manufacturers, insurers, and the Victorian State motoring club (the RACV) are the sponsors. AAA is assisting in the steering committee.”
Mr McIntosh said it was important for young drivers to realise the “holistic” nature of road safety – safer drivers in safer cars on safer roads.
“Researchers and practitioners in the field of safety have recognised the importance of a “total systems” approach to achieve improved performance,” he said.
“That is, all parts of the system are important. For road safety that means understanding and improving the car, the road and the driver as key elements in reducing road casualties.
“In different countries - with different cultures and different levels of car use - road safety casualties vary dramatically.
“But, regardless of the absolute level of deaths and injuries, these three elements remain.”
Mr McIntosh was speaking at the FIA Forum, which also included experts and specialists from the UK, Sweden, USA, South Africa, Germany, Austria and the NRMA in Australia.
Results from the Forum will be published by the FIA Foundation.