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Reaching young drivers: Fire services’ contribution to a community based approach.

Hale, J

Young Drivers

ACRS conference 2008

Young and novice drivers comprise only a small proportion of licensed drivers yet are over represented in fatalities and injuries related to crashes on our roads. As authorised road accident rescue agencies in Victoria, Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) and Country Fire Authority (CFA) play a key role with police and ambulance services in emergency response. As a result fire services have a clear understanding of the very real cost of road crashes to individuals and the community.

In response to this issue MFB and CFA sought to make a positive contribution to the improvement of road safety amongst young and novice drivers and their passengers. To avoid duplication and ensure an integrated response with other key stakeholders MFB identified an opportunity to contribute to an existing educational program which has grown from a local level.

The ‘Fit to Drive’ program (F2D) for senior secondary school students is based on the philosophy that young people have the capacity to change attitudes in relation to risky behaviours on the road. The program’s continued growth and sustainability is based on the strength of a range of partnerships between local communities, individual schools and state based stakeholders.

This presentation will detail the research undertaken, the development and implementation and evaluation of the resource by adopting ‘best practice’ principles in road safety education. Importantly, it will identify how individual agencies like fire services in unique partnerships can make a positive contribution to a model based on relationships between key stakeholders as an all of community response.