Car accident injuries and fatalities continue to be problems on NSW roads, but a state government initiative is helping to better educate motorists on the risks of dangerous driving.
Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay applauded the Safer Drivers course, which is subsidised by the Community Road Safety Fund and recently saw its 20,000th driver pass.
The scheme helps new motorists tackle some of the issues they face when they are a beginner, including the temptation to take risks when running late or encouraged by a friend in the car.
“Over the last year and a half, families who take up the suite of measures including the Safer Drivers course and 10 hours of professional lessons have saved nearly 800,000 supervised driving hours,” Mr Gay stated.
“The importance of the course is emphasised when you think young drivers in the first six months on P-Plates are nine times more likely to be involved in a crash involving serious injury or death.”
According to the minister, the initiative is already having a positive effect on the number of car accidents occurring across the state. There were 24 fewer road deaths in 2014 when compared with the previous year.
P-Plate statistics were particularly impressive, with a 35 per cent drop in the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes.
Course take-up rate ‘encouraging’
The Community Road Safety Fund is an initiative introduced by the NSW Liberals and the federal government that funnels money from speed camera fines back into local neighbourhood schemes.
NSW’s Safer Drivers program is just one of these projects, with Mr Gay asking more people to get involved.
“In December, one in five young drivers mainly around 17 and 18 years of age completed the Safer Drivers course, and I urge more learner drivers to do the same,” he stated.
“We know out of those who have taken the course so far, more than 19,400 have gone on to get their Ps – which is a fantastic incentive for any young driver.”
Mr Gay said regional NSW and Western Sydney are the biggest hotspots in terms of take-up, with course participation highest in Tamworth, Terrigal, Kiama, Camden and The Entrance, among other places.
The state government is also channelling resources into its ‘Get Your Hand Off It’ and ‘Plan B’ initiatives, which are designed to tackle the use of mobile phones while behind the wheel and drink driving respectively.