By MAREE CONRAD WILSON*
JORDAN River Learning Federation Senior School recently hosted a major media event to launch a State Government Road Safety Campaign targeting and educating young people and their supervisors about the importance of Quality Time.
The Quality Time Campaign program aligns with the work the Senior School is undertaking in the highly successful Driving For Jobs Program (DFJ). Driving for Jobs means that students can progress safely through the graduated licencing system at the same time as undertaking their studies in Year 11/12. DFH is funded by the Tasmanian Government.
Students and staff from the school welcomed Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael Ferguson, FIA Formula 3 Driver Alex Peroni, and his father, Piero Peroni. The school also welcomed guests from the Department of State Growth, Road Safety Advisory Council, school executive members, local community and family members.
Young drivers in Tasmania continue to be overrepresented in road crash statistics. Road trauma is the second leading cause of death for young Tasmanians after suicide. Provisional drivers in their first six months of driving solo are the most overrepresented of all drivers.
Before young drivers obtain their provisional licence they should gain as much on-road driving experience as possible with a supervisor. The more practice, the more prepared the young driver will be and the safer they will be when they drive solo on Tasmanian roads.
The Quality Time campaign focuses on encouraging learner and supervisory drivers to make the most of every on-road opportunity to ensure young drivers are prepared for solo driving.
The Quality Time campaign is a collection of 15 short videos focusing on the ‘Quality Time’ spent between learner and supervisory drivers while learning to drive.
The campaign focuses on learners and supervisors getting more practice, in more conditions and more often to improve safety of our young drivers.
The DFJ program connects convincingly to this new road safety initiative. The DFJ program aims to provide increased driving practice to novice drivers, assisting in providing educational information about driving to both students and their families as well as educating about the types of environments you may find yourself driving in once you become a solo driver.
The safety aspects of driving were honed in to the JRLF Senior School students when Alex Peroni spoke to students about explicit rigour for safe driving in the FIA Formula 3 Racing scene. He reminded everyone how, as a young racing driver, he has learnt to appreciate that driving on the road is a challenge. Alex spoke about needing lots of on-road practice to ensure he had enough experience for when he started to drive solo.
Alex Peroni spoke about the differences of learning to drive on the road versus driving on a race track. He said it was important to learn the environment in which you are driving and gain experience.
Alex encouraged students to get as much on-road practices as possible in all conditions and take all opportunities to drive more often with their supervisors.
More experience means you will be safer when you get to drive solo! Alex Peroni is a strong ambassador for road safety!
Facts from the event
More driving experience means reduced risk of serious injury or fatality for new drivers.
Evidence shows getting 80 – 120 hours of driving practice will significantly reduce a young driver’s crash risk when they first drive solo.
Young drivers also need experience in a range of conditions including in different weather conditions, on different road surfaces and during different times of day and night.
Young drivers need more time practising in a range of driving environments, particularly urban and rural, to learn how to handle different hazards, vehicles and travels speeds.
Facts from JRLF Senior School DFJ Program
In 2019, the Driving for Jobs program achieved the following outcomes for years 11 & 12:
Ninety-four per cent of students have directly engaged with the program by sitting the driver knowledge test and/or having driving lessons and assessments.
Forty-eight students (including 16 year 10 students) passed the Driver Knowledge Test to be eligible to get their L1 licence
Twenty-five students in years 11 or 12 passed their L2 assessment with more than 80 per cent passing on their first attempt
Ten students attained their P1 licence by the end of the school year with 50 per cent passing on their first attempt.
The program has provided 610 hours of driving lessons and practice to students.
*Maree Conrad Wilson is the assistant principal of Jordan River Learning Federation Senior School