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Thursday, April 22, 2021

ACT learner driver syllabus to be rewritten

Chosen by the ACT Government to overhaul the pre-learner driver’s licence course, Stay Road Right has now launched a dedicated road safety centre in Canberra.

Stay Road Right was selected by the ACT Government to overhaul the syllabus of the two-day pre-learner licence training course, previously called Road Ready.

The driver equivalent of Stay Upright, a school for motorcycle drivers, Stay Road Right is accredited to support Canberra’s learner drivers from the first phase of the new licensing scheme, providing the mandatory two-day Pre-Learner Licence Training Course, two new voluntary safety courses, as well as on-the-road driver training with skilled driving instructors.

Glen McGrath, Stay Upright regional manager NSW, ACT and QLD, said Stay Road Right won the tender issued by the ACT Government in 2019 to “rewrite the 20-year-old pre-learner licence course curriculum”.

“The new curriculum, which is due to be rolled out soon, follows the ACT Government’s desire to modernise the course content by adding adult educational learning concepts and changing the focus of learning from a fear-based platform to self-assessment and risk management,” Mr McGrath said.

Founded in 1981, Stay Upright is Australia’s first and largest motorcycle training provider and operates official licensing and motorcycle training in five states. Stay Upright has helped train Canberra’s motorcycle riders for over two decades.

Simon McAdie, ACT regional manager at Stay Road Right, said the organisation was dedicated to ensuring the safety of all road users on Canberra’s road.

It’s very exciting to bring the syllabus into the 21st century,” he said.

Road safety is road safety. We were very excited to cross over to cars. In the years we have had teaching motorcycle riders to keep themselves safe, we’re trying to pass that on with a car context.”

The new course includes updated training for hazards such as mobile phones and Bluetooth handsfree devices, as well as “moving away from fear-based education”.

The new pre-learner driver’s licence course has been optimised to be delivered via Zoom.

Between 2006 and 2017, 15 drivers under the age of 25 lost their lives in the ACT, driving Stay Road Right to focus on reducing distractions for inexperienced drivers. This is key to keeping them safe while they build up their skills.

“Back when the original syllabus was written, mobile phones weren’t an issue and research has told us the course needed a bit more about the mental aspect of how the driver acts on the road,” Mr McAdie said.

“When the new syllabus was written it was advised to stay away from the fear-based education and be more interactive with the students. It’s getting them to think more about what they’re doing.”  

He said the new course has also been optimised to be delivered via Zoom, given the uncertainty around the pandemic.  

“We are pushing towards online so students can do it from the comfort of their own home. It’s just as interactive online as face to face.”

While the new learner drivers’ course is still pending ACT Government approval, the dedicated road safety centre in Queanbeyan will provide all elements of the ACT’s new graduated licensing scheme.

“We take road safety seriously,” Mr McAdie said.

“Whether it is learning the theory and road rules before getting behind the wheel or putting that theory into action while completing the 100 hours of logbook driving, we’re right there next to drivers every step of the way.”

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