NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant joined Minister for Roads Duncan Gay in Dubbo today to announce the rollout of the Towards Zero: TAFE Road Safety Partnership at regional TAFE NSW campuses across the state.
The workshop will cover five key issues including speed, driver fatigue, animals on rural roads, driver distraction – particularly the use of mobile phones - and alcohol and drugs.
Hundreds of TAFE NSW apprentices at Dubbo and Orange have already benefited from the program’s pilot, with the course now set to be rolled out to all regional institutes across NSW from early next year.
“Each year thousands of regional TAFE NSW students including tradie plumbers, sparkies and mechanics travel significant distances, some up to several hundreds of kilometres, for work or to attend training,” Deputy Premier Troy Grant said.
“With a road toll that continues to have young country drivers overrepresented, we wanted to find a face-to-face solution to drive home road safety messages to those travelling on our highways to try to reduce the carnage we’re currently seeing on our roads.
“This great program, which was piloted here in Dubbo this year, has been specifically developed to remind young drivers about some of those key regional road safety risks.”
“The road toll continues to rise, and too many young people are dying - education is instrumental in addressing this spike - I’m thrilled this great program is now going to be delivered across country NSW far and wide,” Minister for Roads Duncan Gay said.
This year alone we have lost 33 drivers aged between 17 and 25 across the state – that is more than two rugby teams not coming home to their families. Of these, 23 were on country roads.
“Out here in the bush, things like fatigue and wildlife on the road can have tragic outcomes if young drivers don’t understand the warning signs or how to handle themselves behind the wheel, which is exactly why this program is so valuable.”
Minister for Skills John Barilaro welcomed the implementation of this program and said the NSW Government is delivering new pathways for education and training whilst ensuring students do this safely and informed about the environment they live and work in.
“The NSW Government continues to invest in regional NSW and I welcome this TAFE NSW partnership as they administer the roll out of the Towards Zero initiative across regional NSW,” Mr Barilaro said.
** Deputy Premier Troy Grant, Roads Minister Duncan Gay, North Parkes Mine apprentice Ben Bevan, NSW Centre for Road Safety's Bernard Carlon and TAFE Western's Sue Carey at the Towards Zero announcement in Dubbo.