ARARAT - As part of the Victorian Government's initiative to improve road safety for young drivers, the L2P learner driver mentor program has been launched for the Ararat Rural City.
Manager of program development with Vicroads Sameem Moslih said Victoria's Graduated Licensing System requires learner drivers under 21 years of age to log at least 120 hours of supervised driving before they can sit their probationary license test.
"Overseas research has identified a 30 per cent crash reduction for new drivers with 120 hours of supervised experience, compared to those with only 50 hours," Mr Moslih said.
"For most young people gaining the 120 hours of supervised driving required to apply for a probationary licence isn't a problem but it can prove very difficult for some."
The L2P Program is a Victorian Government road safety initiative run by VicRoads and local community groups and councils to help disadvantaged young drivers who do not have access to a car or supervisor, to gain the on-road experience they need to prepare for solo driving.
"Inexperience is the most significant crash factor for young drivers. Last year over 20 percent of all drivers killed on the roads were young drivers," Mr Moslih said.
"The L2P program provides the opportunity for learner drivers to develop safe driving skills and gain the required supervised hours behind the wheel.
"I would like to congratulate Ararat Rural City, the Central Grampians LLEN and all of the volunteers involved who have made this program a reality for young people in the area.
"This is a wonderful program and I encourage other communities and volunteers to participate in this very important initiative."
Mentors for the program are currently undergoing training to become supervising drivers for the Ararat program. Further mentor training is scheduled for later in the year and interested community members are invited to contact project officer Kellie Chick on 5352 3266.
The Ararat L2P program aims to help at least 15 learner drivers in its first year of operation.
VicRoads is working with local councils, community groups and charities across Victoria to gradually roll out the L2P program. There are currently over 50 programs fully operational across Victoria, with more programs in various stages of development prior to launching. Over 2000 learners will benefit over the course of the program.