While some have questioned what efforts are being made to reduce the horrendous NSW road toll, Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser, has put forward a plan to his government.
In light of the horrific 392 fatalities on the state’s roads in 2017, he has written to the Deputy Premier, the Hon John Barilaro and copied the correspondence to the Premier and Minister for Roads, with details of a program which he believes would be a long term solution to reduce the road toll in NSW.
Mr Fraser said it was unfortunate that far too often novice drivers are involved in a statistically high proportion of these accidents.
“The number of deaths is far lower than the number of people who receive injuries as a result of these accidents,” Mr Fraser said.
“The cost to the health system for the treatment of those injured is immense and the human cost for friends and relatives of those who are killed or injured is incalculable”.
The Coffs MP has urged the Deputy Premier, Premier and the Minister for Roads to adopt a driver education program initiated by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sports (CAMS Ltd) called, ‘IGNITION – PATHWAY TO DRIVING EXCELLENCE’.
“This driver education program has been successfully trialled at schools”, Mr Fraser said.
He believes the program should be adopted as part of the NSW school curriculum and introduced into high schools starting in Year 7.
According to Mr Fraser, “It should also be made compulsory for all novice drivers regardless of their age”.
The program is able to be adjusted to meet the needs of interested young drivers in years 7 and 8 and intending young drivers in years 9 to 11. A demonstration of the program was run in Coffs Harbour in 2011 with wide acclaim from participants.
“The Government has an obligation to ensure that when novice drivers gain their licence they are fully equipped to handle the vast variety of road and traffic conditions, but unfortunately the current system does not create an environment in which this can be done,” Mr Fraser added.
“The CAMS Ignition program is a large step in the right direction and one that I would urge the NSW Government and all other governments in Australia to adopt”.
Triple M has obtained a copy of the letter to the Deputy Premier.
In the letter Mr Fraser explains how as a learner driver, he had the opportunity to be taught on a Police driver training range in Newcastle. The experience taught him driving skills he still uses today, some 40 years later.
The NSW Government owns two specialist driving ranges for training of emergency personnel, one in Armidale and the other in Eastern Creek, Mr Fraser believes these could be utilised as part of this program and other driver training ranges should be established in all major regional centres.
“It is my belief this program will create a generational change for novice drivers and can, in the short and long term, reduce the carnage on our roads,” Mr Fraser concluded.
“The program also emphasises that a driver licence is a privilege not a right”, said Mr Fraser.