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Young drivers hit the classroom in bid to beat road toll


Today, Bendigo Bank has partnered with CGU Insurance to offer young drivers in Bendigo a free driver safety course.

The partnership aims to help reduce the number of young drivers involved in road crashes that result in death or serious injuries.

This afternoon, 40 young people will take part in two workshops, with hopes to extend the program later in the year if there is enough demand.

Bendigo Bank’s Head of Consumer Banking Nick Carter said the TAC’s statistics for crashes on Bendigo region roads* were worrying, with five fatalities and 63 hospitalisations in the last 12 months.

“We know drivers under 25 are most at risk of being in a crash that leads to serious injury,” Mr Carter said.

“While novice drivers only make up about 16 per cent of road users, young people account for 34.5 per cent of hospitalisations caused by accidents on Bendigo’s roads.

CGU Partnership Manager Andrew Robertson said the partnership with Bendigo Bank, known as the Greenlight project, was a fantastic opportunity to help young drivers to improve their driving skills.

“We know just how eager young drivers are to get their licence and get out there on the road, however, they often don’t have the knowledge or skills to manage tricky situations and as a result, put their own lives and passenger lives at serious risk,” Mr Robertson said.

“That’s why we have been working with Bendigo Bank to help young drivers build the necessary driving skills and capabilities. If they can do this, we have a better chance at helping to reduce our road toll.

“The safer driving course is a must have for all young drivers who are looking to get some extra advice and improve their awareness of managing those risks associated with driving on our roads.”

Sim’R café owners Randall and Simone Blakemore will be sending their junior staff to today’s course, and said they were keen to support any driver safety initiative.

“Most of our team – apprentice chefs and cooks, baristas and wait staff – are in the 18 to 25 age bracket,” Mr Blakemore said.

“I’m keen to give them a helping start in adulthood - doing the course gets them cheaper and better level of insurance. It also means I can rely on them to get to work for their shifts safely. Supporting young drivers is something that benefits our whole community.”

Drivers who complete the Greenlight program will have access to a range of benefits including cheaper car insurance with Bendigo Bank and special rates on car loans.

*Statistics include data collected by TAC and Victoria Police in the City of Greater Bendigo.