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Youth driver trainer program.

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Federal Member for McPherson Margaret May yesterday introduced into the House a Private Member's Motion on the need for a national driver training program for young Australians.

Margaret has called on the Australian Government to deliver a national education program that is both compulsory and intensive, through our schools involving a minimum of 120 hours of practical driver experience and nationally recognised credentials to be delivered as a certificate II course.

Margaret said: "Our road statistics tell a sad tale. Australia-wide, over a quarter of all drivers killed and seriously injured each year are adult young drivers.

"In Queensland during 2004, there were 104 fatal road crashes that involved young adult drivers. This resulted in 116 fatalities. Fifty three were drivers, 33 passengers and 30 other road users. These statistics don't even touch the surface of the huge impact that fatal road crashes have on the whole community.

"Fatal road crashes that involve a young adult driver represent 37.3 per cent of the Queensland road toll and yet young adult drivers represent only 13.6 per cent of all licensed drivers in Queensland," she said"

The Federal Government had made a commitment in the last election to work with the states and territories to introduce a national compulsory driver education scheme for all new provisional licence holders by 2007 and had provided funding for further trials.

"Whilst we're to be commended on our commitment, I do not support the trials as I believe we have enough statistics and we have had enough trials. We know and understand what is happening on our roads," Margaret said.

"Further trials will only delay the introduction of a national driver training program that can be embedded in our schools as part of the school curriculum - a two-year certificate course delivered through the Vocational Education Training system.

"We often talk about skilling Australians for the work force or skilling them for life. Driving is a fundamental life skill that, in my view, needs to be compulsory for every young person in this country as driving a motor car is the most dangerous and complex task the average person will ever undertake; yet, despite this fact, drivers still take to the road in a hopelessly under-prepared state.

"Factor in youth who don't have the life experience to understand the consequences of not wearing a seat belt, alcohol, speed or a car's dynamics and the cost is the very sad loss of 53 young lives last year along with scores of other lives.

"We have the opportunity of not just saving lives; we have the opportunity of developing world's best practice driving training in Australia through a program that is tailored and designed for Australian conditions and Australian roads. I urge the Australian Government to take immediate action", Margaret said.