LAUNCH OF NATIONAL P DRIVERS PROJECT AIMING TO IMPROVE YOUNG DRIVER BEHAVIOUR

LAUNCH OF NATIONAL P DRIVERS PROJECT AIMING TO IMPROVE YOUNG DRIVER BEHAVIOUR

18 October 2011

Thomas George, Member for Lismore today announced the start of a road safety trial of more than 27,000 young provisional drivers from NSW and Victoria.

“The P Drivers Project, which aims to improve the behaviour of young drivers through an innovative education program, is being trialled in NSW and Victoria and is the largest research project of its type carried out anywhere in the world,” Mr George said.

“Sadly the Western Sydney region has by far the highest amount of P plate driver crashes and fatalities in NSW,” Mr George said.

The NSW trial will be held in four regions including Western Sydney, Tamworth/Armidale, Dubbo/Forbes and Lismore/Tweed Heads.

“A key performance indicator for the project is to see whether a minimum 10 per cent reduction in crashes can be achieved between the program and control groups,” said Mr George.

“Young provisional drivers will be recruited to take part in the program, which will provide them with eight hours of behaviour change-oriented driver education, rather than simply teaching vehicle control skills.

“The impact of the educational program on road safety will then be measured. The program focuses on building awareness of risks on the road, the importance of effective decision making and developing safe driving behaviour.”

The RTA and Vic Roads will contact all new provisional drivers living in the trial areas and invite them to participate in the study through the MyLiveTribe brand, which has been specially created to engage young people.

The RTA is the major financial contributor, providing $3 million for the $10 million project.

The P Drivers Project is a joint initiative of both public and private sector partners, including the RTA, VicRoads, the Transport Accident Commission, the Federal Government, NRMA Insurance, RACV and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

Lismore participants would first complete a self-assessment survey to identify their driving behaviour and how often they are exposed to high risk situations on the road.

The surveys will give participants feedback about their driving behaviour and how they compare with their peers.

“The course will then involve a discussion forum about problem recognition and links between young driver behaviour and increased crash risks, before a two-hour on-road practical driving session.

“A second discussion forum to review the course and reinforce changes in safe driving behaviour will then be held.

“Participants will share personal experiences with trained facilitators, who will encourage participants to develop a personal plan outlining aspects of their driving which they need to work on and identifying strategies which will lead to change.”

A quantitative trial involving around 26,000 provisional drivers will be held in Victoria, while a qualitative trial involving around 1,600 young people will be held in NSW.

NRMA Insurance Community & Sustainability Manager Megan Lupton welcomed the launch of the P Drivers Project as a significant positive step towards helping to reduce the number of crashes involving young drivers.

“As a leading car insurer in NSW, we are pleased to partner with such a large scale program which aims to influence driver behaviour and reduce risk on our roads,” Ms Lupton said.

“The safety initiative offers a strong combination of online, workshop discussion and on-road driving experience and we look forward to tracking the results and hopefully helping young drivers to become safer road users.”

Private sector sponsors of the P Drivers Project include Toyota, Caltex and Strike Bowling.

Number of P plate driver crashes by region, 2008 – 2010 Fatal Injury Tow-away Total
Western Sydney 28 3452 5492 8972
Tamworth/Armidale 2 152 209 363
Dubbo/Forbes 4 107 126 237
Lismore/Tweed Heads 7 305 539 851

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577