Hopes for expansion of Deni driver training program
A local desire to see the Deniliquin Driver Education program format roll out across New South Wales could be a step closer to reality.
A parliamentary committee has recommended that Transport for NSW work with the Department for Education to ‘integrate driver training into stages five and six of the school curriculum for pupils in rural and regional areas’.
And if such programs cannot be formally included in the school curriculum, he asks Transport for NSW to consider providing access to a driver training program and access to a professional driving instructor.
The recommendations – two of 21 put forward by the Standing Joint Committee on Road Safety (Staysafe) – were welcomed by Deniliquin Driver Education program chair Jenny Fellows, who said such programs should be available to all young people drivers.
“This is the kind of thinking we need, and not just in rural and regional schools,” Ms Fellows said.
“Making this available to all schools would be a great way to capture the majority of learner drivers.
“But I don’t think there should be a division between rural and regional and city.
“Everyone drives in the other’s field, and the goal should be to have more well-rounded and educated drivers overall.
“Recommendation 20 (access to driver education programs even if not in the curriculum) is really good, but it needs to be done in a way that is engaging for learners.”
When Ms. Fellows and other members of the community founded the Deniliquin Driver Education Program over a decade ago, they expressed a desire to eventually see their program rolled out across the state, and perhaps throughout the country.
Established by Deniliquin High School P&C, the week-long program is available each year for 10th graders.
Throughout the week, students take a series of practical and theoretical lessons, the most popular of which include learning about car maintenance from local companies and a simulation of an accident using the emergency services.
Students then have the chance to get behind the wheel of a car on the Deniliquin Sporting Car Club track, and also learn how to share the roads with heavy vehicles, first aid, accident investigation and safety at motorbike.
Ms Fellows said she intended to contact members of the standing committee to update them on the Deni program and its successes.
She also endorsed the committee’s recommendations that “Transport for NSW subsidize professional driving lessons for rural and regional learner drivers” and that “Transport for NSW provide formal road safety training for parents or guardians supervising learner drivers.” drivers”.
One recommendation on which Ms Fellows reserved judgment was the proposal that ‘Transport for NSW considers a learner driver to be able to apply for their Provisional 1 License without completing 120 hours of driving if a qualified driving instructor feels they are competent in his driving skills. ”.
Staysafe’s mission was to prepare the ‘Support for Rural and Regional Learner Drivers’ report to investigate the structural and social barriers faced by people in rural and regional areas in obtaining their licence.
Its main conclusion was that “barriers to accessing a driver’s license can lead to employment, health, education, legal and social problems for rural and regional learner drivers”.