TMR Pledges $360k Through Their Community Road Safety Grants Scheme
- May 25, 2022
- Posted by: admin
- Category: News
For many years now, Roadcraft has been able to subsidise the cost of several of our public courses, but we have especially focussed on our courses for novice drivers. We are pleased to announce that as of the middle of March 2022, the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) has committed to funding the novice subsidies previously self-funded by Roadcraft and has pledged $360,000 over four and a half years through funding from the Queensland Government’s Community Road Safety Grants scheme.
Why focus on Novice Drivers?
Well, young or novice drivers can often be prone to what’s called ‘optimism bias’. This refers to a phenomenon where someone both overestimates their skill level and simultaneously underestimates the risks.
This is somewhat common with young drivers because teenagers often feel invincible and disregard the narrow margin of error that exists when in control of a vehicle.
The content and structure of Roadcraft’s novice driver courses have been carefully and deliberately designed to counter this ‘optimism bias’, because overconfidence can be extremely dangerous.
Our target learning outcome of the young novice driver course is for the driver to approach their driving with an adjusted attitude in terms of risk acceptance.
This outlook adjustment is an extremely valuable life lesson that all novice drivers deserve to learn – regardless of their socio-economic status.
Why subsidise these courses to begin with?
Roadcraft’s long standing subsidisation of the course fee for novice drivers is due to our belief that circumstance shouldn’t dictate someone’s opportunities to learn or limit their access to safer driving techniques.
Each year in Australia, some 1,200 people die and 44,000 are hospitalised due to road crashes.
We all know that road trauma is a huge problem in Australia, with novice drivers vastly overrepresented in the statistics.
Our South Australian neighbours recently published their statistics for 2015 – 2019(1) and the results were shocking. People in the 16 to 24 year old age bracket made up 11% of the population, but accounted for 18% of all fatalities and 20% of all serious injuries in South Australia for 2015-2019.
In Queensland, research suggests that young drivers and riders, aged 16 to 24 years, are 60% more likely to be involved in a serious crash than licensed mature adult drivers and riders, aged 25 to 59 years. (2)
How driver education can help
We are confident our safe, low-risk, driver education courses form a big part of the solution.
This is because when novice drivers are guided through the course by experienced educators who are focussed on more effective techniques for safer driving – rather than just the practicalities of how to drive – and a modified attitude towards risk is developed, they carry this on throughout their lives.
When drivers on the road are risk aware and have the confidence to remain calm, make clear choices, and drive safely – everyone is safer.
Department of Transport and Main Roads and Roadcraft
For a long time, Roadcraft has enjoyed a strong association with the Department of Transport and Main Roads and have been encouraged by their support of effective road safety education. This led to Roadcraft’s participation in the collaborative development of TMR’s Controlled Environment Driver Training Guidelines, which Roadcraft’s curriculum aligns with.
With TMR committing to funding the subsidies previously self-funded by Roadcraft to the tune of $360,000 over 4 and a half years, we can carry on making our novice driver courses accessible to young people regardless of their financial situation.
This is significant financial support and translates to the following GST inclusive course fee subsidies:
- The real value of our two-day Student Driver Course is $330 per student. TMR has committed $110 per student, leaving only $220 for each student to pay.
- The real value of our two-day Learner and Provisional Driver Courses is $515 per student. TMR has committed $165 per student, leaving only $350 to pay.
- This funding will subsidise some 3141 young novice drivers through potentially lifesaving driver education over the four and a half year period.
We are so very grateful for TMR’s belief in what we do and for their significant financial support of effective education to reduce road trauma – we are no longer having to do this on our own.