Professional driver training is more accessible to Kiwi learner drivers with the start of the Automobile Association's nationwide free driving lesson programme.
The launch follows a successful three-month pilot programme in which the AA Driving School expanded its free driving lesson offer to drivers who have held their learner licence for less than two months and are either AA members or their sons or daughters.
Half the country's newest motorists fail their restricted driving test because they are unprepared and potentially unsafe behind the wheel.
The AA says while this has reduced the number of new drivers on the roads, those who do make it through are much safer behind the wheel.
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AA Driving School general manager Nigel Clark says the tougher test is about reducing deaths and injuries on the roads.
"These higher testing standards mean learner drivers need to take more time to develop their skills and build a solid foundation for safe driving."
The AA will offer free driving lessons in Wellington, Dunedin and Invercargill. Wanganui and Christchurch will join the mix in November and the programme will be expanded early next year to include Auckland.
The three-month pilot phase of the programme began in Hamilton and Tauranga and expanded to include Taupo, Rotorua, Whangarei and Nelson.
The hour-long lesson will provide the student with an introduction on key driving skills, how to set up a car for driving, an explanation on instruments, gauges and vehicle controls, moving off, stopping, steering, gears and basic intersection types.