Virtual reality traffic school to give youth a glimpse of roads of the future

It's traffic school, but it's not old school.

The solid bikes and trikes, mock traffic lights and stop signs of old have been turfed for a new virtual reality experience targeting teens who have grown up with tablets and gaming consoles.

Melbourne's newest youth traffic school will be built at Melbourne Museum, at an estimated cost of $80 million. It is hoped at least 20,000 high school students a year will visit, as well as the general public.

WATCH: TAC's virtual reality driving school – Virtual reality technology like this will feature in the TAC's new traffic school, dubbed a Road Safety Education Complex, at Melbourne Museum.

Young drivers are stubbornly over-represented in the road toll. Last year. Those aged 18 to 25 accounted for 21 per cent of lives lost on the road, but made up just 12 per cent of drivers.

Much of this is attributed to a combined lack of driving experience and greater propensity for risk.

The school, dubbed a Road Safety Education Complex, will feature new hands-on technology, including driverless vehicle technology, to educate students about the risks of driving.

"We know young people are on consoles, on games and that is the way they interact with others," Luke Donnellan, the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, told Fairfax Radio on Wednesday morning.

"So we need to look at how we can engage them to actually make better decisions because we know ... 85 per cent of the time when people end up losing their lives or (are) in serious accidents, it's because of a decision they've made."  

TAC chief executive Joe Calafiore said the complex would give students the chance to simulate being on the road and in a vehicle with cutting-edge safety features.

"You'll be able to experience a virtual road of the future, you'll be able to experience all of the technologies that are emerging and this is an educative experience, it's not about providing entertainment for 90 minutes," he said.

The complex is due to open in mid-2018. It will also become the permanent home for Graham, the TAC's famous sculpture that interprets what a human body might look like if it had evolved to survive a high-speed crash.

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