Hands up for new driver initiative

SCHOOL principals across Victoria have been asked to raise their hands for a program teaching year 11 students how to avoid risky situations on the roads.

The Fit2Driveworkshops encourage young Victorians to take responsibility for their own safety and challenge dangerous behaviours on the roads, regardless of whether they are in the driver’s seat or the passenger of a newly-licensed driver.

Fit2Drive Foundation patron, Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing Robert Hill, this week wrote to Victorian secondary schools, inviting them to participate in the program.

“Sadly young Victorians are almost four times more likely to be involved in a serious or fatal crash in their first year of driving,” Mr Hill said.

“Fit2Drive workshops are designed to educate young drivers and passengers about making safer decisions on the road.”

Mr Hill said young people needed to speak up and act when they were exposed to dangerous driving behaviour.

“We want to empower young Victorians to have the courage to tell their friends to slow down, put their phone away, ensure everyone is restrained and don’t drive if they have been drinking or taking drugs.”

The not-for-profit Fit2Drive Foundation is a partnership of the Transport Accident Commission, Victoria Police, VicRoads and the Department of Education and Training.

The program uses university students who are trained as road safety peer facilitators and includes an interactive presentation involving Victoria Police members to give the year 11 students an understanding of risky driving behaviour and equip them with the skills to avoid it.

Transport Accident Commission acting chief executive officer Bruce Crossett said a combination of inexperience and risk taking made young drivers and passengers of newly-licensed drivers particularly vulnerable to road trauma.

“The Fit2Drive workshops are about building the capacity of young people to make good decisions when faced with risky driving situations,” Mr Crossett said.

“Too many Victorian schools have mourned the loss of current or former students because of bad decisions on the roads and that’s why we believe it is so important that schools offer the Fit2Drive workshops.”

The workshop has been developed by VicRoads and the TAC, along with experts in the fields of road safety, education, behaviour change and young adult learning.

Anyone wanting further information or to book a session can visit www.f2d.com.au

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