Education key to changing driving habits

RAC WA Paraplegic Benefit Fund presenter Rob Pike, who lost both of his legs in a car accident, with RAC WA’s Natalie Wong.
RAC WA Paraplegic Benefit Fund presenter Rob Pike, who lost both of his legs in a car accident, with RAC WA’s Natalie Wong.

A ROAD safety program in Rockingham is giving young offenders a second chance.

Through WA Police and the Department of Corrective Services, RAC’s Community Education Team is delivering a road safety program to young people aged 13 to 18 who have committed driving offences.

RAC media and government relations senior manager Liz Carey said the program delivered road safety classes in Rockingham each Monday.

“We teach young offenders the importance of safe driving and the effects of alcohol, drugs and reckless behaviour on driving,” she said.

“Last year 184 people died in road crashes in WA, making our fatality rate the worst in the country.

“Drivers aged 17 to 24 accounted for 22 per cent of all WA road fatalities despite making up only 12 per cent of the population.

“Half of our most recent young driver survey respondents used their phone while driving, while a further 20 per cent checked social media.”

Ms Carey said the results were worrying and reinforced the need to educate young drivers.

The program includes a presentation from the Paraplegic Benefit Fund (PBF) and presenter Rob Pike sharing his own personal road trauma story with attendees.

Mr Pike lost both of his legs in a catastrophic car crash at just 17.

“Often young people come in with a negative attitude and trivialise their offence as not serious,” he said.

“When I talk about my life-changing experience, they usually change their tune pretty quickly.”