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School-based driving lessons to help save young lives

LIFE LESSONS: Students John Duncan and Ryan Thoday are taking part in the BRAKE school education driving course. Also pictured is Sergeant Rob Duncan from the Jimboomba Police Station and Browns Plains Bendigo Bank manager Scott Northfield. Photo: Ashleigh Howarth / The Reporter
LIFE LESSONS: Students John Duncan and Ryan Thoday are taking part in the BRAKE school education driving course. Also pictured is Sergeant Rob Duncan from the Jimboomba Police Station and Browns Plains Bendigo Bank manager Scott Northfield. Photo: Ashleigh Howarth / The Reporter Ashleigh Howarth

MORE than a thousand young Logan drivers are learning to be more cautious behind the wheel of their car with the help of a free school-based driving course.

The Brake Driver Awareness program, which is funded by Bendigo Bank, is an initiative to help teenagers, on the grasp of receiving their provisional licence, learn necessary life saving motoring skills.

It is designed to help protect them from being killed on the roads.

The program consists of eight modules which teaches the young drivers how to modify their behaviour whilst in the car.

They also learn to identify a wide range of risks and hazards.

Sergeant Rob Duncan of Jimboomba Police Station said the program was about helping young drivers make conscious decisions to avoid becoming a road fatality statistic.

"Teenagers these days think they are invincible, so the program is here to help save their lives," he said.

"We teach them a broad range of things including who is responsible in the car.

"We want to change the belief that all of the responsibility is on the driver when in fact, the passengers must play an important role also.

"We teach the kids about the role of positive peer pressure."

Sergeant Duncan said the program was becoming increasingly popular.

"When the program first started in 2007, we probably had roughly 270 students involved," he said.

"This year, I think we have 11 schools and more than 1400 kids signed up just in Logan alone."

Once the teenagers have completed the modules, they can then sign up for the official program which could give them one point towards their Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE).

Mr Duncan's 16-year-old son John has already completed the program at Park Ridge State High School.

As he prepares to move up from his learners to his p-plates later this year, he said he felt confident in his driving abilities from the lessons he learnt in the Brake program.

"The course is good because it taught us that we really need to pay attention to our surroundings a lot more," he said.

"We learnt about a lot of things which are hazards which we didn't think would be.

"I definitely think every young person needs to do this course."

Bendigo Bank Browns Plains branch manager Scott Northfield said he was pleased his company were taking an active role in protecting the city's youth.

"From my point of view, it is always great to hear about local success stories," he said.

"The relationship Brake has with the bank and the local high schools including Park Ridge is very solid.

"As a local branch manager in the area, it is great to hear those relationships are lasting and helping to protect our youth.

"If reckless behaviour can be corrected before these kids get behind the wheel of the car by themselves, than that is already helping to save lives."

If you would like to know more about the Brake program log onto their website at www.brake.org.au.

Topics:  driving lessons learner driver



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