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Developing a safer drivers course for young learner drivers.

Ma, A, Rees, P, Hillard, E, Bruton, G

Novice Driver Programs

ACRS conference 2013

This paper will focus on the process of developing the new Safer Drivers Course (the Course) for Young Learner Drivers implemented in NSW from July 2013.

The Course, focusing on awareness of risk, low risk driving and building resilience among young learner drivers aged 16-24 years of age, is an optional component of the Graduated Licensing Scheme (GLS) in NSW. The Course aims to improve road safety for young drivers, especially in the first six months when they first commence driving independently as a provisional driver. The Course comprises a three-hour facilitated small group discussion session and a two hour on-road coaching session with two learners and a coach. A key Course requirement is that a learner driver must have completed a minimum of 50 hours on-road supervised driving experience to register for the Course.

The curriculum framework for the Course was developed by a Board of Independent Road Safety Experts and supported by an Advisory Panel, adopting key adolescent learning principles, road safety research findings, and best practice driver education. This process involved extensive stakeholder consultation and collaboration among community organisations, the driver training industry, and road safety researchers.

This paper will include a summary of the key principles of Course design, key delivery considerations and an overview of the process that contributed to the development of this new initiative that aims to improve road safety for young drivers in NSW.