The RACT is calling for federal funding to be maintained for a highly successful learner driver program in the 9 May federal budget.

RACT Motoring Services Manager Peter Gillon said the Keys2Drive program provided a free 60-minute lesson with a professional driving instructor for learners and their parent / supervisor.

“The training provides participants with a plan to assist them to be safer drivers as they begin the often traumatic experience of learning to drive,” he said.

“In Tasmania from 30 June 2016 to date, 872 lessons were delivered under the program.”

Mr Gillon said last year the program received 12 months’ worth of funding to rollout out across Australia.

“As there is currently no government funding beyond 30 June this year allocated for Keys2Drive, an important resource for our young drivers will be lost,” he said.

“Cutting funding for these potentially life saving lessons is short sighted.

“It is a fact that when a young person obtains a P1 licence and can drive independently, they become the highest risk group on the road and are more likely to be involved in a crash than any other age group.

“In the first six months of a young person having their p-plates they are 20 times more likely to be harmed in a crash than when they were on their L plates.

“We need to do more to equip learner drivers with the skills they require to be safe on the roads, and keys2Drive can certainly assist with this.”

The RACT is calling for a long-term commitment to the Keys2Drive program for at least four years to provide certainty for the program

RACT has also identified a number of road infrastructure projects that needed urgent attention in a budget submission to the Federal Government.

The road works identified are:

  • Bass Highway intersections at Wynyard – rationalise the number of intersections and upgrade one to become the primary access / crossing point ($15 million).
  • Eastern Hobart approach – increase capacity and improve traffic flow on the eastern approach to the Hobart CBD ($300 million).
  • Bridgewater Bridge – construct replacement four-lane Bridgewater Bridge and associated new junctions ($600 million).

The RACT had recently welcomed an announcement by the Tasmanian and Federal Governments that the biggest stage of the Midland Highway upgrade – the Perth Link Roads project – would begin two years earlier than scheduled.

The project will connect the current upgrades underway between Symmons Plains and Perth and from Perth to Breadalbane, with construction expected to start late this year and be completed by 2020.