Western Bay students can get behind the wheel and test their driving skills in an interactive driving simulator at Bayfair Shopping Centre.
From Monday to Friday this week, the AMS Group youdrive simulator will be at the shopping centre, in conjunction with Blue Light and Farmer Autovillage for a five-day exhibition focused on promoting safe driving.
The youdrive driving simulator features a steering wheel, pedals, indicators and seatbelts, which give young drivers a realistic driving experience.
Between 9-11am each day, Blue Light will be at the exhibition to demonstrate the dangers of impaired driving and how this can significantly increase the chances of crashing.
Students will be challenged to complete a sensory obstacle course, then will be asked to complete the same course again, this time while wearing Fatal Vision glasses.
Between 10-11.30am, Farmer Autovillage will demonstrate some basic maintenance checks, including how to change a tyre, check oil levels and general car maintenance.
AMS Group is responsible for introducing the youdrive education programme, which is available as part of the NCEA education system.
Managing director Kevin Wall said driving was a crucial skill that was often not given enough emphasis.
"With more than four million vehicles registered for use on New Zealand roads, the development of extensive defensive driving techniques was of paramount importance for young drivers,'' he said.
Students who take part in the youdrive simulator will go in the draw to win a Getting Started Driving prize package, with six driving lessons, a copy of the New Zealand Road Code, a set of L plates and cash reimbursement for the learner licence application and test fees.