RAA Senior Manager Community Education Ben Haythorpe said it’s extremely exciting to receive a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award.
“We’ve always been really proud of the keys2drive program and its effectiveness at teaching beginner drivers to be safer drivers. But to see it recognised on the international stage is brilliant,” said Mr Haythorpe.
“Learning to drive is an important life skill and quality, available driver education can literally mean the difference between life and death.”
keys2drive is an Australian Government funded program that was developed by the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), with support from the driver training industry.
The program was established in Canberra in 2008, and has been run from RAA’s offices in South Australia for the past 12 months.
Mr Haythorpe accepted the award on behalf of keys2drive in London on 9 December 2014.
“keys2drive is a program that is squarely focused on saving lives through education,” said Mr Haythorpe.
“Learner drivers can access a free lesson with an accredited driving instructor, and the learner’s parents also benefit, as they sit in on the lesson allowing them to pick up new skills so that they are better prepared to teach their children.
“We’ve already delivered more than 300,000 lessons and we hope to deliver many more in the years to come.”
Last year the University of New South Wales completed a research program that found P plate drivers who had not completed a keys2drive lesson had a self-reported crash rate of 9.9% in NSW and 9.6% in Queensland. Those who have completed a keys2drive lesson have a self-reported crash rate of 4.5%.
“When it comes to improving driver behaviours and creating safer drivers, the keys2drive program has a proven track record and now that’s been recognised globally,” said Mr Haythorpe.
The keys2drive program is the single largest national learner driver safety program ever rolled out in this country and the first of its kind undertaken anywhere in the world.
Presenting the award in London, HRH Prince Michael of Kent said: “The judges were particularly impressed by the involvement of parents and the way the programme enhanced the role of instructors to good effect.”