Geared to Drive

Submitted by Ksenija Bould File

Geared to Drive is a learner driver training program that supports young people to achieve their required 75 hours of supervised driving. The program provides a vehicle and supervising drivers with whom learner drivers book supervised driving time.

Problem you're solving

Of particular need is the support required for young people who don’t have access to support from suitable or appropriate licensed drivers or vehicles. For many young people in the district, access to formal driving lessons to become well trained drivers is cost prohibitive. Coupling the lack of formal driving instruction with less than satisfactory/inadequate driving role models places young drivers and other motorists at risk. In the Adelaide Hills context, the driving environment/conditions are relatively high risk and skilled driving to suit these conditions is required.

For local young people access to a private vehicle is paramount to their overall wellbeing/development. For a number of reasons, the district's young people are highly reliant on private transport in order for them to access services, programs, opportunities, leisure/recreational pursuits and employment. Young people without a license are highly disadvantaged when looking for employment locally or out of the region because of transport needs. With the requirement to meet 75 hours of supervised driving for a Learner driver, a need has emerged to respond to the young people/families who struggle to achieve this requirement. Council has received informal reports that accumulating the 75 hours can take a prolonged amount of time for young people who are well supported by their families and/or have access to a suitable vehicle. Not withstanding this are those young people without these resources. The varied driver education programs that have been delivered locally have all evidenced the need for the support to achieve the 75 hours.

Young people needing to demonstrate safe, well developed driving skills at an early, timely age include:
The need to travel out of the region for work;
Limited public transport particularly in outlying townships and intra town travel;
Public transport routes and schedules primarily directed toward supporting business hours travel to the city as opposed to supporting access for young people in after school and weekend times and
High private vehicle ownership result in young people needing/desiring to drive as soon as possible.

In short, the benefit of providing Geared to Drive in Mount Barker will be two fold. It is currently not practical for hills' young people to access Geared to Drive from its current Woodville base. Secondly, to offer the program in the local driving context/environment where they can be supported to learn to drive to the local conditions (including the freeway) will be advantageous

The cohort of young people Geared to Drive will potentially service is 3895 (2011) - estimated at 4165 (2020) young people or consistently 13% of the total district population over the 2011-20 period.
i (aged 16-25yrs, based on 2011 ABS data and official forecast data to 2020, referenced against total population)

Your solution

Geared to Drive is an established program developed and delivered by SYC/HYPA. Council and HYPA have recently begun discussions of trialling/piloting G2D in the Mount Barker area. Council and HYPA will work collaboratively to deliver this project in the Mount Barker local government area. HYPA will provide all of the program content including processes for administering/managing the project, recruiting processes/support for volunteer supervising drivers and participants and initial program vehicle. Council will work with HYPA to support delivery/implementation of the program, including recruiting local volunteers and participants via its networks and local knowledge/resources, top up operational funds and secure the permanent local Geared to Drive vehicle. It is envisaged successful implementation/outcomes of the program will lead to council embedding Geared to Drive as a core Youth Development program with a view to potential application at a regional level given DCMB’s regional service hub status/scope.

HYPA and Council are confident of their ability to partner to respond to the needs of young drivers and negotiate final program requirements for successful implementation. In principle agreement and some details have been met. The majority of the funds will be utilised to employ a local part time Project Officer to deliver the program whose role will include managing bookings, support volunteer Supervising drivers and participants. The remainder of the funds and top up funds from Council will cover administrative costs such as insurance, vehicle registration, fuel, installation of safety brake to permanent vehicle. Fee for service options for participants are also an option.

If this submission is successful, HYPA and council will enter into formal negotiations to finalise outstanding operational details and funding arrangements.

Estimated funding required



Comments closed

andrew mcinerney

03 Nov 2014

Sounds like a great way to assist a young person to achieve an important step in their life - getting a drivers licence. For those who can't access a vehicle or suitable instructor this is a safe alternative and offers an option for those who can't partake in the Woodville program. It is also a ideal way to link older volunteers in the community to the program and help them interact with and develop our youth.

Kirsten Sandstrom

31 Oct 2014

Sounds like an awesome initiative, and one that is much needed. Getting your licence is such an important milestone in a young person's life, enabling them to get around independently, to be able to get to school, uni, work, sport practice... I can't imagine how I would get on with life if I couldn't drive.

Ceris Crosby

31 Oct 2014

Great initiative Ksenija. Our children are so vulnerable when they first learn to drive and in their first few years as P platers. The cost of driving lessons is prohibitive for those on low incomes and the hours required to achieve P plate status are VERY difficult to achieve with many families commuting to the city, Murray Bridge etc. cutting out available hours to supervise driving to achieve the required number of hours.
It would be great to extend this idea to adults who also need to gain a licence and lack their own vehicle or adequate income to pay for lessons for the number of hours required......especially migrants..........???? in the future????

Julie Dayman

28 Oct 2014

A great initiative that can help lower our road toll & keep our precious young people safe.

Ceara Rickard

28 Oct 2014

This is a fantastic idea and one that could have an enormously beneficial impact on young people in the region, especially those who face disadvantages and may not have access to family who could supervise their driving.

Robyn Coff

28 Oct 2014

I think this is a great initiative and will help ensure we have safe, competent drivers on our roads.

valerie Fairbank

28 Oct 2014

I know how hard it is for a 2 parent, 2 car family to get the hours for one teen. Imagine not having a car, or a parent who cant drive, or worse - twin 16 year olds! Great idea.