Young drivers on a restricted licence need a better steer on how to cope with solo driving, says NZ Motoring Writers’ Guild president, Jacqui Madelin.
Young drivers on their restricted licence are in more danger of crashing than at any other time, “But with a bit of commitment, parents can change that,” she says.
Fortunately there’s a new resource to tell them what to do – and why.
‘Going Solo’ – funded by Mobil and produced by the AA-sponsored Driver Education Foundation, Waikato University, and Monash University’s Accident Research Centre – gives parents the tools to turn out safer drivers.
“Few parents realise your time on a learner licence is one of the safest periods of your driving life, as you’re always being supervised,” she says.
“The trouble starts when youngsters head out solo, and encounter conditions they don’t have the experience to cope with.
“Until now it’s been a matter of guesswork for most parents,” Madelin says. “They don’t want to come down too hard on their kids, but they’d like to keep them safe.”
The Going Solo brochure tells parents and kids which conditions are risky, and how to offset that risk while gaining valuable experience at the wheel.
“The NZ Motoring Writers’ Guild would prefer the government to fund better driver education, which has a long-term benefit for New Zealand,” Madelin says.
“But meanwhile initiatives like Going Solo help families help themselves, and we commend the AA DEF, Mobil, and the others involved for the work they’re doing to improve safety on our roads.”