Victoria has announced the first session in its P Drivers Project, with a group of newly licenced drivers enrolled at the Centre of Adult Education in Melbourne this week.
The P Drivers Project is a collaborative study between the Federal, Victorian and New South Wales governments, developed to monitor the behaviour and attitudes of young P-plate drivers.
Announced in 2004 and moved under VicRoads control in 2008, the latest phase of the project kicked off in October this year. The program has recruited 1,800 new P-platers across Victoria and New South Wales.
"The session today will involve about 12 P-platers led by a facilitator who will encourage an open dialogue amongst the group," Victorian Roads Minister Terry Mulder said.
Known as the MyLiveTribe program, the course will focus on the four key driving behaviours associated with young driver crashes: namely, following-distance, speed management, gap selection and hazard recognition and response.
"In the coaching session participants will practice new driving behaviours and in the final session, develop a personal plan with the help of trained facilitators, incorporating strategies to address these behaviours that will be practised following the program," Mr Mulder said.
VicRoads Director of Road User Safety James Holgate said the program was developed with input from local and international experts in behaviour change, adolescent health and young driver safety.
"The curriculum for the program has been designed using adult learning principles and is a new approach to young driver behaviour change," Mr Holgate said.
"This national project is the largest research trial of its type ever undertaken in the world. Led by VicRoads, the project aims to recruit 26,400 young drivers in Victoria and 1,600 in NSW."
Mr Mulder said newly licenced P-plate drivers were invited to participate in the trial via direct phone and mail recruitment and online self sign-up. The recruitment process is still underway; new drivers are encouraged to sign up.
More information on the P Drivers Project can be found on the project's website www.pdriversproject.com.au