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Young Drivers and Speed


30th January 2004

Young Drivers and Speed

The AA Driver Education Foundation shares the Land Transport Safety Authority’s (LTSA) concern that too many young people are losing their lives through driving too fast and without enough experience.

Peter Sheppard, chief executive of the AA Driver Education Foundation, says the LTSA has correctly identified the key problems as being a lack of driving experience and speed, where young people are concerned. “The younger age group tends to have a ‘bullet proof’ mentality when it comes to risk taking”, he says.

“The AA Driver Education Foundation have researched world best practice to come up with a robust incentive based training scheme called “Alchemy”, designed to foster and reward safe drivers in the 15-24 age group”, he says.

“Alchemy is now running through-out New Zealand and encourages a higher level of driving competency through NZQA based supervised driving instruction and more involvement with parents and friends, at little extra cost to those normally associated with gaining a full Class One licence.”

Peter Sheppard says some secondary schools are now including the programme as part of their life-skills activities and work alongside driving instructors with the programme. “We are also getting strong support from corporate sponsors such as Mobil Oil New Zealand”, he says.

“While young drivers may lack experience, we must remember that many of them are very safe drivers as well. In fact I believe some older drivers need to be better role models for young drivers. They have a responsibility to lead by example with safe driving practices”, he says.


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