Calling All Learner Drivers

Thursday, 21 April 2011

It’s exciting, it’s daunting, and it can be forever life-changing...learning how to drive safely is one of the most important things you can ever do.

Learner drivers throughout Australia are encouraged to participate in the World’s Largest Driving Lesson (WLDL) on Wednesday 4 May to not only improve their driving skills, but to help set the world record and raise awareness about road safety.

The WLDL, a signature event of the Fatality Free Friday Road Safety Foundation, launches a month of activities centred on road safety and reducing Australia’s road fatalities.

“Tragically, young drivers have more than three times the risk of dying in a serious crash1,” said Russell White, Founder and Chairman of the Fatality Free Friday Road Safety Foundation.

“It’s widely acknowledged that young drivers are significantly over-represented among the 1500 people killed on Australian roads each year. Road traumas and fatalities, particularly those affecting young drivers - the most vulnerable of road users – are tragedies that touch all of us. Professional training of new drivers is a key component in reducing road accidents, particularly amongst young drivers.

“We are urging learner drivers and their driving instructors or parents from around the country to take part in this year’s world record attempt,” said Russell.

To establish the world record, 250+ learner drivers (that is a minimum of 25 learner drivers and their instructors or parents with an open licence in 10 different locations) need to participate in the driving lesson. Simultaneous driving lessons will be staged at 8.30am (8am in Adelaide and Darwin) on 4 May in 11 locations across Australia including Adelaide, Brisbane (two venues), Canberra, Darwin, Gold Coast, Hobart, Mackay, Newcastleand Townsville. The world record attempt will be verified by the Guinness Book of Records.

Visit www.fatalityfreefridayfoundation.com.au for further information on how to get involved.

ABOUT THE FATALITY FREE FRIDAY ROAD SAFETY FOUNDATION
The Fatality Free Friday Road Safety Foundation, established by driver safety advocate Russell White, is committed to improving road safety and reducing driver trauma and fatalities on Australian roads through community engagement, research, advocacy and education. The Foundation’s signature events include the award-winning national road safety initiative, Fatality Free Friday, which was launched in 2007, the World’s Largest Driving Lesson and the Australasian Road Safety Awards which will be staged for the first time in November 2011.

ABOUT FATALITY FREE FRIDAY
Road safety is a complex issue but we believe that if drivers consciously think about road safety and safe driving for just one Friday in the year, that day’s toll could be reduced to zero. That’s our aim. Not a single road death in Australia for just one day. Fatality Free Friday puts the emphasis back on the only people who make a real difference – those who use the road. Australians are urged to ‘take the pledge’ of Fatality Free Friday – it’s a promise to ‘drive to stay alive’. Ultimately it provides a platform for people to start thinking consciously about driving safely every day of the year.

FAST FACTS*
• Approximately 1500 Australians are killed on our roads each year.
• For every road fatality in Australia, more than 20 people are seriously injured.
• The economic cost to Australia of road trauma is more than $17 billion.
• The most deadly time of day to be on the road is between 3pm and 5pm.
• 95% of road crashes are caused by human error.
• Globally, it’s estimated deaths and injuries will increase 65% by 2020.

*Statistics from the United Nations, the Australian Transportation Safety Board, The Guardian (UK)



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