The program will allow learner-drivers to reduce their compulsory supervised driving hours from 120 to 80 hours, if they take part in the course and also take on professional instruction.
From July, learners will also be allowed to travel up to 90km/h instead of 80km/h, in a bid to better prepare them for graduation to a probationary 'P-plate' licence.
NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay said the Safer Drivers Course will involve both theoretical and practical coaching.
“It also teaches learner drivers about gauging road conditions, seeing issues that could affect them and making safe decisions,” he said. “This is a first step in rewarding the state’s younger drivers for learning safer behaviour behind the wheel.
“Young drivers are tragically over-represented in the NSW road toll and we want to ensure they are all given the opportunity to learn about road safety while they are still learning the basics of driving.”
Gay said the course, developed by "a board of independent road safety experts", will be rolled out gradually, based both on community feedback and the availability of service providers.
“We’ve carried out market research with parents and learner drivers who believe the course will benefit them,” he said.
“They have told us it tackles the very aspects beginners face when they first start driving. The course deals with different road conditions, understanding factors beyond a driver’s control and also helps identify risks on the road."
“We recommend that learners enrol in the course when they have 50 hours completed in their logbook. By that stage they will have basic driving skills and will understand and appreciate the lessons they will be taught."
He added that the programme is aimed both at ensuring learner-drivers are getting the best possible training, and also to minimise the potential for fake logbook entries.
The cost of the course is still to be revealed, although Mr Gay said that it will be affordable.
"The cost of the course will be capped at an affordable price for each participant and any additional cost of delivering the course will be covered by the Community Road Safety Fund, which has been established to ensure infringement revenue directly finances road safety initiatives."
He added that the board identified options to help young drivers from across different socio-economic communities to meet the costs and requirements for the course.
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