Too many young Tasmanians die or suffer life changing injuries on our roads. They are being seriously injured and killed at a higher rate than any other age group.
This needs to change. To achieve this, the Tasmanian Government will make necessary reforms and continue to deliver programs that will improve road safety at every stage of young people’s lives.
Our youngest Tasmanians, those in early childhood and primary school, are extremely vulnerable when using our roads. This is especially true when not properly restrained in the car, when walking or riding a bike and when getting on and off the school bus.
Several programs help keep children safe, including the provision of school crossing patrol officers and campaigns to encourage lower speeds around schools and school buses.
Support is provided to community organisations to deliver bike and road safety education programs in schools and free child restraint checks across the state. Later, as young people approach the age when they can get a licence they receive support through a range of programs to educate them about safe driving and to assist them to progress through the licensing system.
Education and training initiatives such as the Rotary Youth Driver Awareness Program, the Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania’s (RACT) Ready for the Road course and the Full Gear motorcycle safety program will help to develop the skills of young road users and teach them how to use the road with the right attitude and a sense of shared responsibility.
Gaining a provisional driver licence is a huge achievement in the life of a young person, offering them greater independence and improved access to social and economic opportunities. Enabling young people to take this important step is a major priority.
Sadly though, it’s at this time in their lives, having just graduated from their period of supervised learning, that they are at the greatest risk of being involved in a crash.
The implementation of an enhanced Graduated Licensing System (GLS) – called Plates Plus – supports young people to become safer drivers by making sure they get more on-road supervised driving experience in a wider range of conditions and that they demonstrate the right skills before being allowed to drive without supervision.
The enhanced GLS will better protect provisional licence holders from distractions such as mobile phones and peer aged passengers.
Continued support for disadvantaged learner drivers under the Learner Driver Mentor Program. This program helps fund community organisations across the state to match volunteer mentors with learner drivers who do not have access to a supervisor, a suitable car and the means to afford professional lessons. Assisting these young people to meet their required supervised driving hours decreases their crash risk, the risk that they will drive without a licence, helps them connect with their community and improves their job prospects.
An enhanced Graduated Licensing System (GLS) will help reduce crashes among young people and improve the pathway to a provisional driver licence. A new digital learning platform makes it easier to learn the Road Rules and makes getting a licence simpler. Learners now get more experience in different environments before they graduate to their provisional licence, which is when they are at greatest risk.
The Tasmanian motorcyclist GLS is being reviewed to ensure motorcyclists are appropriately experienced and capable before they are granted a full licence.
The RYDA program will continue to make students aware of the significant responsibility that comes with being a driver or passenger. Every year, more than 4,000 students in grades 10-12 take part in practical demonstrations and learn valuable road safety lessons from expert presenters and volunteers.
The Driving for Jobs program will support students from highly disadvantaged areas to progress through the GLS and gain a greater awareness of road safety while also improving their job prospects. Students undertake a personalised, intensive program with a strong road safety focus including professional on-road lessons and participation in RYDA.
RACT will be supported to deliver several road safety education initiatives. This includes a program for years 10 to 12 students that focuses on the dangers of distraction and inattention.
The Motor Accidents Insurance Board-funded Real Mates campaign will continue to use humour to engage with young men and encourage them to avoid the risks of drink driving. This successful campaign aims to empower young men to speak up and stop a mate from driving after drinking.
The Bicycle Network will continue to promote bike education, road safety and positive road sharing behaviour to school students across Tasmania.
Over 100 school crossing patrol officers assist children and other pedestrians to safely cross the road at schools all around the state.
The Safety Around Schools project, including the Love 40 campaign, will also encourage drivers to lower their speed and keep a look out for children in school zones and around buses.
Kidsafe Tasmania will continue to conduct free child restraint checking sessions to ensure that young children are safely and lawfully seated and restrained in cars. Kidsafe also distributes and promotes educational material informing the public of the correct child restraint type for a child’s age and size.
Continued support of the Full Gear motorcycle safety program. This program helps young motorcycle riders to enter the licensing system and adopt safe riding practices.