A road safety program that has positively impacted more than 800 TAFE NSW students across the state has been recognised nation-wide for its excellence – announced as a finalist in the prestigious Australian Road Safety Awards.
The one-hour road safety workshop that formed part of the Towards Zero road campaign is a finalist in the Australian Road Safety Awards Collaboration category, recognition for TAFE NSW and Roads and Maritime Services who successfully worked together to launch the program in Dubbo in 2016.
It’s been quite a rapid rise since its humble beginnings in 2016, with the program’s initial success in Dubbo leading to the workshop being delivered to hundreds of students at both Dubbo and Orange. The Federal Government then announced in November last year it would be rolled out to TAFE apprentices state-wide this year.
“The program has come a long way since we first delivered it to a group of 15 TAFE NSW Automotive apprentices in March last year,” TAFE NSW Engagement Officer Fiona Westcott, who helped facilitate the program, said.
“We initially started out just wanting to help western NSW students, some of whom travel hundreds of kilometres for training at TAFE, to become safer on our road and responsible road users.
“The fact that this program now has the potential to help thousands of apprentices right across the state, and the fact we have been nominated for such a prestigious award in the category of collaboration, is very exciting because we all need to be delivering the same message to our apprentices regarding road safety and this message is now consistent between the employer, training provider and RMS.”
The five key issues that are covered as part of the workshop include speed, driving tired, animals on rural roads, driver distraction – particularly the use of mobile phones - and alcohol and drugs.
Ms Westcott said a class of Metal Fabrication students from Dubbo had completed the first workshop of 2017 last week, with the program to continue for all stage one apprentices at TAFE NSW in the western region over the next three months. The next workshop will be in Orange on March 20 and Dubbo on April 4.
For more information about road safety, visit www.rms.nsw.gov.au.