A driver education program targeting disadvantaged youths has taken top spot at the 2013 Queensland Road Safety Community Awards.
Five category winners and nine commendations were announced this week as part of the award program run by Queensland University of Technology's (QUT) Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety - Queensland (CARRS-Q).
Called “Braking The Cycle”, the winning program offers free driving lessons with the help of volunteer mentors to marginalised youths, helping them build their 100 mandatory learner driver hours.
The program is run by the Queensland Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC) and this week celebrated its 100th graduate.
CARRS-Q director Professor Barry Watson commended the program, saying that it not only produces safer young drivers, but also aims to ‘brake’ the cycle of disadvantage off the road.
"The youth are engaged for the entire 100 hour journey and matched with their own volunteer mentor who not only supervises driving but provides life mentoring," Professor Watson said.
"Braking The Cycle has been termed to highlight the links between obtaining a licence, employment and good social outcomes."
Professor Watson said more than 300 disadvantaged youths had taken part in the program to date, completing more than 6500 hours of training through programs currently run in Logan, Beenleigh, Crestmead, Ipswich, Dalby and Gladstone.
Award categories included school safety, local government safety and safety innovation with the “School Zone Pace Car” program in Logan and “Stay On Track Outback” program among the other winners.