Young driver safety has received a $10.5 million boost for the continuation of the L2P program, Minister for Roads Terry Mulder announced today.
Mr Mulder said the L2P learner driver mentor program delivered on the Coalition Government’s commitment to young drivers, providing disadvantaged learners with the resources they need to become safer drivers.
"We know that learners who complete 120 hours of supervised on-road driving experience have a 30 per cent lower crash rate for the first two years on their P-plates, compared with those who only have 50 hours of practice," Mr Mulder said.
"However some young learners simply don’t have access to a car or someone to supervise them to achieve the 120 hours practice required. This program pairs them up with volunteers who support them to practice and become much safer drivers," Mr Mulder said.
The L2P program pairs learner drivers with trained supervising drivers and provides access to a vehicle for practice. The program is delivered by VicRoads through local councils and community groups to ensure disadvantaged learners have the chance to clock up 120 hours of driving practice before sitting for their probationary licence test.
"The response from the community has been fantastic, with almost 1,400 volunteer mentor drivers signed up to contribute their time," Mr Mulder said.
"There are currently 55 L2P programs across 60 local government areas throughout the state, providing 11,000 hours of practice per quarter. The program has helped over 250 learners get their licence, with a further 1,120 learners on the road.
"The L2P program gives disadvantaged young people the opportunity to get their licence, which can often then help them get a job or access further education.
"Recent focus groups revealed many L2P participants believed their driving behaviour had improved since joining the program. They no longer participate in unlicensed or dangerous driving and, importantly, they discourage this behaviour in their friends."
Mr Mulder said many people worked hard to make the program a success, including local councils, community agencies, local L2P steering committees, local MPs, Victoria Police, driving instructors and local traders. Mr Mulder said the additional funding, provided by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), would initially benefit the Geelong, Bendigo and Wellington-East Gippsland programs.