Tauranga's most vulnerable drivers will have access to a free workshop to become more skilled and knowledgeable while driving on our roads.
Young driver workshops, which were first offered as a pilot programme to encourage safe driver behaviour on local roads, started in April 2015.
The workshops are aimed at young drivers, aged between 16 and 24, who hold a current learner or restricted driver's licence.
Introduced by the Travel Safe team, who cover the western Bay of Plenty region, the workshops were developed based on community feedback. Statistics today reveal drivers on a restricted license are seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal or serious injury crash.
Run over a half-day, participants are guided by industry professionals to grow their current skill base, knowledge and confidence.
Tauranga City Council travel safe co-ordinator Sheree Ellis was thrilled to have the ongoing support of partners and volunteers who were passionate, "bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Young Driver workshops".
"We couldn't offer these workshops without the generosity of New Zealand Police, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, driving instructors, and TD Haulage who kindly donate their time and expertise in a workshop that has a good balance of theory and practical activities.
"The heavy transport component of the workshops couldn't happen without the ongoing generosity of local businesses such as TD Haulage, Walling Enterprises and the TR Group Truck and Trailer Rentals who provide us with the heavy vehicles used as a visual and a demonstrative aid."
Heavy transport co-ordinator for the Travel Safe workshops Jason McComb has been involved with the workshops for two years and is a passionate advocate for promoting driver safety.
"The reason I'm doing this is to promote safety for my fellow drivers and companies I worked for in the past and to try and stop the negative attitude towards trucks on New Zealand roads. If by making young drivers more aware of the dangers around these vehicles and if it could save even one life that's a win.
"We all have to change the way we drive to help protect everyone on our roads. Trucks carry our country so we need to give them the respect they deserve as they will help look after other motorists if you give them the chance," he said.
Workshops are held each school holidays and numbers are limited. To find out more about upcoming class dates and times follow the Travel Safe Facebook page.
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The Young Driver Workshops cover:
• Staying safe around heavy motor vehicles practical session.
• TWIRL safe and road worthy vehicle checks practical session with Waka Kotahi NZTA,
• Focus 5 – speed, impairment, restraints, distraction and fatigue awareness with NZ Police.
• 80-minute professional driving lesson with a Waka Kotahi NZTA qualified instructor.