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ACC credits fall in teen driving fatalities to education programme

Fatalities among teenage drivers fell from 64 in 2008 to 24 last year. Photo / Thinkstock
Fatalities among teenage drivers fell from 64 in 2008 to 24 last year. Photo / Thinkstock

A fall in the number of fatalities and injuries among young drivers is being partly credited to a youth driver education programme, Accident Compensation Corporation says.

Figures released by New Zealand Transport Agency yesterday revealed that fatalities among teenage drivers fell from 64 in 2008 to 24 last year.

Serious injuries in the same group reduced from 411 in 2008 to 233 in 2012.

The ACC programme, Practice, was a free, practical driving programme, which helped new drivers prepare for the restricted tests, said ACC's general manager of Insurance and Prevention Services, John Beaglehole.

"ACC developed Practice in collaboration with NZTA, after overseas experience showed that increasing the amount of supervised driving in the early phases of the licensing system is a key way to reduce novice driver crashes."

The more time a learner driver spent in the driver's seat, the safer they would be on the road, Mr Beaglehole said.

"It's very satisfying to see Practice contributing to making the roads safer for younger drivers, among the other measures highlighted by NZTA, such as tougher driving tests and a zero alcohol policy for young drivers."

Practice provides:

• Free online help to learn a range of driving skills, from basic to advanced;

• Free online videos showing how to learn key skills; and

• A free driving manual to help the driving guide teach, and the learner driver achieve.

- APNZ

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