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Driver education program celebrates major milestones

Wednesday, 12th Mar 2014

National driver education program keys2drive is today celebrating securing funding to keep the program operational as it approaches its 250,000th lesson to be delivered to novice drivers.

RAA Senior Manager Community Education Ben Haythorpe said funding was due to expire at the end of 2013.

“An additional $10 million funding was made available by the Australian Government, following an election promise by the Federal Coalition last year to keep the program up and running,” said Mr Haythorpe.

“The funding will allow us to continue to deliver thousands of free lessons each week to novice drivers across Australia for another two or three years.”

keys2drive is an Australian Government funded program that was developed by the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), with support from the driver training industry.

With the confirmation of the additional funding, RAA was also given the responsibility of running the national driver education program from its offices in South Australia.

“We’re excited to be able to keep this vital road safety program running and working with the 1,400 driving instructors across the country who deliver these lessons to learner drivers,” said Mr Haythorpe.

“Learning to drive is an important life skill and quality, available driver education can literally mean the difference between life and death.”

The keys2drive program is the single largest national learner driver safety program ever rolled out in this country and the first of its kind undertaken anywhere in the world. It is a program squarely focused on saving lives through education.

“Learner drivers are provided with a free lesson through the keys2drive program with an accredited driving instructor,” said Mr Haythorpe.

“The learner’s parents also benefit from the keys2drive lesson, as they sit in on the lesson allowing them to pick up new skills so that they are better prepared to teach their children.”

Last year the University of New South Wales completed a research program that found P plate drivers who had not completed a keys2drive lesson had a self-reported crash rate of 9.9% in NSW and 9.6% in Queensland. Those who have completed a keys2drive lesson have a self-reported crash rate of 4.5%.

“In operation since 2008, the program has a proven track record when it comes to improving driver behaviours and creating safer drivers, so it’s great to know that learner drivers will continue to have access to this valuable program,” said Mr Haythorpe.

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