In July 2013, the NSW Government introduced a driving program designed to help young learner drivers under the age of 25 identify road risks and prevent accidents. But is it really worth it? What are the details behind the name? Today we’ll dive right into understanding what safer drivers course actually is.
The Safer Drivers Course is aimed at preparing learner drivers below the age of 25 years for driving on their own when they obtain their provisional licenses.
This course helps you learn how to minimize road risks by focusing on safe driving behaviour, and also teaches how to best deal with situations such as when you have friends in the car or when you are in a rush. Camex Transport Services experts say, “Taking safer drivers course has its own benefits as it introduces young people to drive and work in a safe road environment. Having to deal with lots of deliveries and time on road, we train our drivers rigorously. For any beginner driver, safer drivers course acts as fast track to getting the licence.”
The Safer Driver Course also helps you learn more about speed management, hazard awareness, gap selection, as well as safe following distances. These are some of the key aspects rarely covered by parents, supervising drivers, and professional driving lessons.
Who is Safer Drivers Course for?
To qualify for this course, you:
Must have a valid learner license
Must be below 25 years of age
Must have accumulated at least 50 log book hours of actual on-road driving (minus any three-for-one bonus hours) and should include some hours of night driving.
Earning credit hours
Besides becoming a safer driver, completing the course will earn you a bonus 20 hours of log book credit. This means that you will only need to complete 100 hours of supervised driving outside the course.
You can only attend the course once, meaning that the 20 hours of the bonus log book credit can only be deducted once.
If you choose to attend structured lessons with a licensed NSW driving instructor, the 3-for-1 bonus will also apply in this case.
Here’s a table outlining how log book credits are recorded.
|Learner Driver Activity||Credit||Supervised Driving Hours||Logbook Total|
|Safer Drivers Course||20 hours||100 hours||120 hours|
|Professional lessons (10 hours)||20 hours|
(This includes the 10 hours spent
driving during the lessons.
Professional lessons exceeding 10 hours don’t offer any additional credit.)
|100 hours||120 hours|
|Safe Drivers Course + 10 hours of professional lessons||40 hours||80 hours||120 hours|
The Safer Drivers Course costs $140. The course includes a peer group discussion (3 hours) and a coaching session in a vehicle with another learner (2 hours). This fee must be paid directly to the course provider and not to Roads and Maritime Services. With that said, disadvantaged learner drivers are allowed to attend the course free of charge.
Every year, the New South Wales Government sets aside 1,000 subsidized places on the Safer Drivers Course to allow young learner drivers from disadvantaged families and Aboriginal communities access this course. This helps to give learners who are financially disadvantaged an equal opportunity to gain the road safety benefits brought forth by completing a Safety Drivers Course. Experts from Cogni Academy say, “Disadvantaged people are often overlooked. But this subsidisation gives them a chance to become more independent and hence empowering them.”
For you to qualify for one of the 1,000 subsidised SDC places, you must:
– Be aged below 25 years
– Have accumulated at least 50 log book hours of actual on-road driving (minus any 3-for-1 bonus hours) and should include some hours of night driving
– Be a holder of a current Department of Human Services-issued Pensioner Concession Card or Health Care Card
– Be previously or currently in Out of Home Care (OOHC)
The Safer Drivers Course has two modules:
Module 1: Theory
Learners are engaged in meaningful peer group discussions to help encourage and develop safer driving behaviours. These sessions are facilitated by our trainers who ensure that every learner comes away with the knowledge and understanding of key messaging and strategies that help improve their safety on the road.
What participants get to learn in these sessions is often what isn’t learned while being supervised in a controlled setting.
2. Module 2: Practical
Module 2 allows learners to put into practice concepts that they’ve learnt from Module 1 with help of a trainer. The trainer coaches the learner on how to use their risk management strategies while driving and assists them to embrace low-risk driving behaviours.
Module 2 is normally taken within 1 month of completing Module 1. But Module 2 can be completed on a different date based on availability.
E-bikes experts Wattaride say, “Just learning theory is not enough. There are certain situations where a theoretical explanation doesn’t work or apply. Thus, for learners to take full advantage and to be more fully prepared, practical lessons are a must.”
Choosing Your School
Here’s the thing. This course was introduced by the NSW Government but it doesn’t provide any lessons on this. So, you’ll have to consider choosing a good driving school with lots of prime locations that is close to your home.