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keys2drive: An evolutionor revolution in the way Australian learner drivers are taught?

Haythorpe, B, Pepper, C

Novice Driver Programs


keys2drive is a joint initiative of the AAA (Australian Automobile Association) and the Australian Government. It is perhaps the most extensive and far reaching novice driver training and road safety education initiative in Australia’s history. The program has been developed by the AAA and its members (NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAC(WA), RAA(SA), RACT and AANT) with strong support from the driver training industry and funding from the Australian Government. keys2drive consists of three major components:

• a free lesson delivered by a keys2drive-accredited professional driving instructor to learner drivers, accompanied by their supervising driver

• a sophisticated website for learner and novice drivers, supervising drivers and professional driving instructors, rich with information and ongoing leaning experiences

• a voluntary accreditation scheme for professional driving instructors who wish to participate, involving initial training, professional development and commitment to the keys2drive code of conduct.

With an aim of ‘six months on P-plates with zero harm’, the program is designed to contribute to a reduction in the number and severity of crashes involving young drivers. Central to this aim is a change in how novice drivers are taught by both the professional driver training industry and by their supervising driver. keys2drive has introduced a coaching method called ‘Find your own way’. This method encourages the learning-to-drive process to be student focussed and encourages learner drivers to take an active role in their learning.

This paper highlights the results of an independent review of the program completed in November 2010 by Ken Ogden and Associates Pty Ltd, as well as audit results and research conducted by the AAA in 2010 involving learner drivers, their supervisors and the driver training industry.