4 February 2021
Tania Maxwell MP, Member for Northern Victoria, has sought clarification of the Victorian Government’s delivery of a 2014 election promise to introduce a compulsory driver education program for Year 10 students.
At the time of the election promise, the program was estimated to cost $24 million over four years to 2018 as part of a broader $146 million road safety package for young Victorians. However, it remains difficult to trace whether the commitment was fully implemented and/or successful.
Ms Maxwell has regularly raised with the Government issues pertaining to young drivers, most recently as part of her submission to the Inquiry into the Increase in Victoria’s Road Toll, which included a call to increase young driver education programs.
In 2020, 57 of the 211 people whose lives were lost on Victoria’s roads were aged between 16-29 years, representing 27% of the total road toll.
Based on her extensive discussions with constituents and expert stakeholders – including during her 2020 visit to WodongaTAFE’s Driver Education Centre of Australia (DECA) facility at Shepparton – Ms Maxwell said defensive driver training should incorporate identification of attitudes to risk and instruction in low-risk driving, as well as defensive driving skills.
Ms Maxwell said there could be scope to devote specific attention to the danger of mobile phone use in vehicles, shaping behaviours before young drivers obtain their licence.
Ms Maxwell asked the Government to outline its record on defensive driver education and funding, including specifically the implementation and outcomes of the 2014 election commitment.
Comments attributable to Tania Maxwell MP:
“In my time as an MP, the importance of driver education to shape behaviour and reduce risk is something that has remained very clear to me.”
“Fifty-seven young lives were lost on our roads in 2020 and I am confident that a high-quality driver education program for students would go a long way to help drivers improve their skills and would save lives.”