Learner drivers handed keys2drive for another four years
11 December 2017
- Free driving lessons for learners and their supervisors available to 2021
- Participants learn what risks to be aware of before they ‘go-solo’ on the roads
- Aims to further reduce young driver fatalities and serious injuries
Young drivers and their parents will be targeted as part of a Federal Government program to reduce road trauma, particularly in regional areas.
The Australian Government today approved an additional $16 million to extend a safe-driving program for learner drivers—keys2drive—for a further four years.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the extension of the program, which follows a commitment in the 2017 Budget, would provide support for some of the most at-risk drivers on our roads.
“This program is a great way to ensure learner drivers gain as much knowledge and experience as possible before they drive solo on our roads. The program provides learner drivers and their supervisors with a free 30-minute theory lesson and 30-minute practical lesson with the aim of preparing for solo driving with a P-plate licence,” Mr Chester said.
“The keys2drive program is also a key factor to help reduce the number of road fatalities and serious injuries recorded across Australia. First-time licensed drivers are at high risk during their first six months on the road and young drivers are generally over-represented in serious road crashes, and we want to curb this trend.
“With 66 per cent of road trauma in regional areas, the extension of the keys2drive includes an increased distribution of keys2drive lessons to regional areas.
“The Australian Government is determined to do everything it can to see the number of road deaths decline among driver's aged between 17 and 25. In 2006, there were 17 per 100,000 young driver deaths compared to 9 per 100,000 in 2016.”
Teenage Australian Olympic skeet shooter Aislin Jones has helped launch the keys2drive program and highlighted the need for younger drivers to avoid distractions when behind the wheel.
“Concentration is a key part of success in my sport and it's the same when I'm driving. It's critical to avoid distractions like mobile phones and stay focused. Too many young people are killed and injured on the roads, particularly in regional areas, and learning the right skills as an L-plater is important,” Aislin said.
Today's contract signing will see the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) continue to deliver keys2drive, which has been running for nearly a decade. The AAA has also committed $4 million in cash and in-kind support to further enhance and extend the reach of the program.
In line with our commitment to reduce the number of serious road crashes, the Australian Government has so far provided $31 million to support keys2drive, with further funding bringing this total to $47 million. Learner drivers can register for a free keys2drive lesson online: www.keys2drive.com.au.