Young drivers taught life-saving skills: photos, video

A safety course for young drivers visited Bendigo this week to give students life-saving skills for the road.

Driver safety company, Motorvation, uses lectures, video and practical training to teach students how to deal with unusual situations when driving. 

"We’re working on what’s called the one-per-centers - the skills that drivers don’t learn when they’re getting their licence," course teacher Jennie Hill said.

This week Catholic College Bendigo students were taught how to control skids, how to brake in emergencies and are given information about how cars work and how they behave.

"This information is not taught in Victoria for the licence test," Ms Hill said.

"Before the program, some drivers don’t want to come. One of the main features of a dominant driver is they think they’re fantastic and they don’t need training," she said.

She said the course was taught carefully so as not to encourage over-confidence. 

"We get drivers to self-assess as a demure driver, dominant driver or a drive-aholic. We then talk to them about how that behaviour makes them drive," Ms Hill said.

Ms Hill said she assessed students with a series of questions. 

"We’re looking at things like how much they love cars, whether they participate in motor sport, how they see themselves as a driver.

"With a demure driver, they’re biggest problem is a lack of practical skill so we work with them on actually increasing their confidence and getting them to understand how cars work better," she said.

Ms Hill said the biggest problem with dominant drivers was their over-confidence and tendency to take risks.

But she said the course was still able to get through to people in that category.

"I’m not saying you totally transform each driver, but 90 per cent of them can see they didn’t know everything."

Ms Hill runs the course with business partner Geoff Fickling and said the focus was on saving lives.

Both have more than 20 years of experience in driver training and say their course is unparalleled in what it offers.

"When we discovered we’d come up with a program that reduced crash rates by about 80 per cent we decided to start a new company working with young drivers," Ms Hill said.

 The British government and authorities in two Middle Eastern nations have expressed interest in the program.

This information is not taught in Victoria for the licence test. - Jennie Hill

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