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ACC & LTSA encourage restricted drivers DriveSmart

ACC and LTSA encourage restricted drivers to DriveSmart

A restricted driver licence, no more learner plates, no supervision, freedom at last.

But in the first months that young restricted drivers have the key to the highway, their inexperience greatly increases the risk they will crash.

"Many young restricted drivers think they are bullet proof, and this heady combination of excess confidence and inexperience can be fatal," says LTSA Education Manager Michael Cummins.

Last year, 36 people died in crashes caused by drivers on their restricted licence and a further 289 suffered serious injuries.

In the same period, males aged 15 to 19 filed twice as many moderate-to serious injury claims than females to ACC and cost three times as much to support.

To combat this toll, LTSA and ACC have launched DriveSmart, a programme aimed at building the skills that teenage drivers on a restricted licence need to be safe on the road.

"DriveSmart aims to raise restricted drivers’ awareness of the risks they face and encourages them to work with more experienced drivers or supervisors," said ACC Injury Prevention Programme Manager James Whitaker.

DriveSmart is an extension of Practice, a highly successful initiative piloted last year that aims to build skills among learner drivers.

As with Practice, parents are encouraged to become more involved in boosting their teen’s ongoing driver education.

Restricted drivers aged 15 to 19 who took part in Practice will be among the first to receive the DriveSmart magazine from tomorrow.

Restricted drivers, including those who have not taken part in Practice, can register online at www.drivesmart.co.nz or call 0508 D SMART to get the magazine and enter a monthly competition offering two prizes of $500 or free restricted driver courses.

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