Australia Launches Program Offering Free Driving Lessons To Students

driving lessons

Obtaining your license is a rite of passage for most teenagers. At a time when you’re most interested in branching away from your family and exploring your independence, knowing how to drive offers unparalleled freedom. Despite the fact that the best way to learn to drive is through beginner driving school, most teens (56%) rely exclusively on their parents for driving lessons.

 

Drivers ed classes need to be paid for out of pocket, which has a huge impact on how many people take advantage of them. Though there are scholarships available in the U.S. to help cover the costs, the resources provided through driving safety schools cost more than families are willing to pay. Hopefully in the future, we’ll take a page out of Australia’s book.

 

Learning To Drive Down Under

Beginning in 2019, Australia’s Royal Automobile Association (RAA) will be offering free driving lessons to students from select schools. As part of an initiative to help students progress from their L-plates to P-plates, the RAA has funded the $350,000 Licence to Work program.

 

In Australia, newly licensed drivers must display their experience with letters on their license plates: the L stands for learner, and the P stands for provisional/probational. L-plates are similar to our country’s learner’s permit, and progressing up to P-plates requires a significant amount of document driving experience as well as a test. Provisional licenses are subject to the same scrutiny, usually with tighter restrictions on speed, blood alcohol limits, and number of demerit points that can be deducted.

 

“Many young people experience significant difficulty meeting the current graduated licensing scheme requirements, particularly in terms of accessing a supervising driver and/or vehicle to gain the 75 hours of driving experience that is needed to progress from L to P plates,” said RAA community engagement manager Ben Haythorpe. To lend a hand, the RAA’s new program offers driving lessons with qualified RAA instructors and will include the entire 75 hours of driving experience required to progress to a P-licence.

 

Though the number of students that will be benefiting from this program is small (around 90 students over three years), the effort to aid the community is still present; we’re sure those 90 students will be grateful for the help!

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