STATISTICALLY, young people go from being the safest people on the road to the most at risk of an accident the moment they get their P-plates.
There are a lot of reasons for this, but chiefly it’s inexperience.
In an effort to prepare young drivers for the challenges they’ll face when they hit the road on their own, Vicroads are trying to educate young drivers as soon as possible.
That’s why year 11 students at Catholic College took time out for the Fit to Drive program on Thursday afternoon.
The program, which will also be heard by students at Victory Lutheran College and Wodonga Senior Secondary College next week, seeks to empower young people to speak up when they think their peers are driving in an unsafe way.
Workshop leader Ruth Luxford said it was important to reach students who were likely to get their licence in the next 12 months.
We focus on speaking up before it’s too late, strategies and phrases to get yourselves out of a risky situation of you do find yourself in one.Ruth Luxford
“The key messages are that it’s everybody’s responsibility to keep themselves, their mates, their family, safe on the roads,” he said.
“This program helps empower students to do that.
“We focus on speaking up before it’s too late, strategies and phrases to get yourselves out of a risky situation if you do find yourself in one.”
Speed, distraction, drink driving and mobile phones have been identified as four of the key contributors to accidents involving young drivers.
Ms Luxford said while peer pressure was often negative, in a road safety context it could be used to a more positive effect.
“It is up to passengers to speak up if they feel unsafe,” she said.
“We do focus on positive and negative peer pressure in the context of keeping yourself safe in the car.
“People think it’s out of my hands now, I’m not driving, but it can have a real impact if you speak up.
“We also have a lot of strategies for avoiding getting in the car in the first place, the other options.”
CCW student Madi Bryant said it had been an interesting seminar.
“It’s kind of fascinating, we learned a lot of new things about road rules, things like wipe off five,” she said.
“It’s the small things that can make a really big difference.”
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