Knox City to jump start learner drivers’ on road exprience

Member for Ferntree Gully, Nick Wakeling MP was in Wantirna today to launch the Knox L2P Learner Driver Mentor Program.

Mr Wakeling said the L2P Program was developed to support Victoria’s Graduated Licensing System (GLS), which requires learner drivers under 21 to record at least 120 hours of supervised driving before they can sit their probationary license test.

“This innovative program for young and disadvantaged drivers was recently recognised by VicHealth for its contribution to the health and wellbeing of Victorians.”

“This program will give young people the skills they need to be more confident, safer and smarter drivers through the help and support of our community volunteers.”

“Overseas research has identified a 30 per cent crash reduction for new drivers with 120 hours of supervised experience, compared to those with only 50 hours.”

“For most young people, gaining the 120 hours of supervised driving required to apply for a probationary licence isn’t a problem but it can prove very difficult for some,” Mr Wakeling said.

The VicRoads L2P Program is a Victorian Government road safety initiative designed to help drivers under 21, who do not have access to a car or supervisor, but need to gain on-road experience to prepare for solo driving.

Mr Wakeling said inexperience is the most significant crash factor for young drivers.

In the five years from 2008 to 2012, 44 drivers aged 18 to 21 years were seriously injured and 138 more sustained other injuries in the Knox City Council area.

“Already, 5 participants and 15 mentors have signed up for the Knox City program, giving these learner drivers the opportunity to develop safe driving skills and gain the required supervised hours behind the wheel. There are still places left so please contact UnitingCare Harrison to see if you are eligible to participate in this fantastic program.” Mr Wakeling said.

CEO of UnitingCare Harrison Stephanie Webber said an L2P Program has long been necessary in the City of Knox.

“There is a genuine need for young people in our region to be supported to achieve their Victorian Driving Licence.”

“We are pleased to be able to bring together the resources of VicRoads, Knox Council, RACV and Bendigo Bank to allow us to make this possible for 20 of our young people.”

We look forward to seeing this program make a real difference in people’s lives”

Our mentors have come from all walks of life and as John Gonsal explains, he is eager to pass on his knowledge and experience to the younger generation.

“I am keen to give back to the community and I can see the need to help our young kids”.

“With the support of mentors, we look forward to many success stories from our young drivers.”

VicRoads is working with local councils, community groups and charities across Victoria to deliver the L2P program, funded by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC). There are 62 programs fully operational across Victoria benefitting over 2000 learner drivers.

The Victorian Government together with road safety agencies has been successful in reducing the young driver casualty crashes by 20 per cent in recent years through measures such as the GLS, a ban on mobile phone use for all probationary drivers and a range of support programs.

Support programs include the revised road safety workshop Fit2Drive (F2D) which was launched recently and is being rolled out to Year 11 students across Victoria to tackle teenage risk taking on the road. Other successful programs for young people include Keys Please and Looking after our Mates.

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