ACT learner drivers will have access to two new training courses that will focus on sharing the road with vulnerable users and reducing unsafe driving behaviours.
The ACT Government’s vulnerable road users training is an Australian first, and both training courses will be optional to help learner drivers meet their supervised driving requirements.
ACT Road Safety Minister Shane Rattenbury said provisional drivers are at highest risk of crashing in the first six months of independent driving.
“I encourage all learner drivers to take advantage of these courses to understand more about driving in the ACT, sharing the road, and keeping themselves and other road users safe,” he said.
The Vulnerable Road User Program will be available for all learners and will look at safely sharing the road with cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. It will count for 10 required hours of supervised driving.
The announcement of the new course comes as ACT Policing crack down on sharing the road, which has been announced as their monthly traffic focus for August.
“Think about how your behaviour impacts on others, and share the road,” said Detective Inspector Marcus Boorman, officer in charge of road policing.
“I’m talking about tailgating, not slowing when passing emergency vehicles, or driving too close to cyclists. Be alert and attentive on the road, and know your behaviour does make a difference.”
The Safer Driver Course will count for 20 of the required supervised driving hours, and will involve an in-class lesson and a practical driving component. The ACT Government will offer a number of free placements on this course per year for learners who require financial assistance.
Under the ACT’s new licensing scheme, learner drivers under 25 are required to complete 100 hours of supervised driving, and those over 25 are required to complete 50 hours.
“The ACT has a ‘Vision Zero’ view to road safety,” Mr Rattenbury said. “This means no deaths or injuries on our roads.”