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Question - Road Safety Questions

Tuesday 21 May 2024


Ms ARMITAGE question to LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Mrs HISCUTT

 

[2.46 p.m.]

In a letter from the Australian Driver Trainers Association, TasInc, that was sent to all Tasmanian members of parliament in April, they asked the following questions regarding road safety, driver training and education.

 

(1)         In February 2024, the Liberal team announced that every Tasmanian school student from years 9 to 12 would receive driver education.

 

(a)          Is this every Tasmanian school, including private schools as per the Strong Plan for Safer Roads Statement?

 

(b)          When can Tasmanians expect to see this implemented?

 

(c)          Will it be expanded to younger years, including primary school age children?

 

(d)          Will this include instruction on safety for pedestrians, cyclists, skateboarders, scooter riders and other similar forms of transport?

 

(e)          Will it include specific input from professional driving instructors, including defensive driving and car safety and maintenance?

 

(2)         Will resources be made available to people who become learner drivers after school? Will there be an adult education program for mature-age learner drivers?

 

(3)         What was the rationale for removing the L2 driving assessment as it appeared to provide learners with the opportunity for early intervention to break bad habits formed during their formative learning months?

 

(4)         Will the government consider making it compulsory for international drivers temporarily living in Tasmania, i.e. temporary residents for study or work, to show an understanding of Tasmanian road rules?

 

ANSWER

 

Mr President, the Tasmanian government's election commitment will focus on a new In School Driver Education Program to be delivered in partnership with the Road Safety Advisory Council, (RSAC) and the Royal Automobile Automotive Club of Tasmania, (RACT). It dedicates $8 million over five years to delivering comprehensive driver education in every Tasmanian school for students in years 9 to 12.

 

1(a)  Yes.

 

1(b)  The program time line is yet to be determined.

 

1(c)  No. However, the government funds a separate program for primary school children. By starting this new education program in year 9, the program will commence before students obtain a learner's licence and embed safer road attitudes from the start.

 

1(d)  The program content is yet to be determined but the aim of the program is to provide comprehensive evidence-based learning resources to ensure all young people are educated in all aspects of road safety, including vulnerable road users.

 

1(e)  The government will work in collaboration with the RSAC and the RACT to determine potential input from stakeholders.

 

2.       The program is proposed to target students in years 9 to 12. It will not include an adult education program for mature-aged learner drivers. However, the government provides several existing resources for mature-aged learner drivers.

 

3.       Driving assessments were removed in April 2020 in response to the declar ed state of emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic, to allow learners to progress through the licensing system while no assessments were able to be delivered.

 

The Tasmanian graduated licensing system (GLS), aligns with the enhanced model under the Australian Graduated Licensing System Policy framework.

 

There is no evidence to suggest that a two‑stage learner period should be preferred over other models and the framework does not make a recommendation on staging a learner period or having multiple on‑road assessments.

 

(4) A person with a temporary visa can legally drive in Tasmania under their current overseas licence without the need to undertake any assessment of their knowledge of the Tasmanian road rules. This is consistent with other Australian jurisdictions.

 

The RSAC and Department of State Growth have produced several safe driving resources for international drivers. Road safety information is also provided in hire cars and at popular tourist destinations. Short videos promoting important road rules are continually being screened on the large electronic screens at the Hobart airport.

 

International students and visiting seasonal workers are also provided with road safety information via campaigns with the University of Tasmania and many of the larger agricultural businesses - which I can attest to, having talked to some of those before.

 

Ms Armitage - You will not make it compulsory.

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