Media releases

Thanks a million for free professional driving lessons

Tuesday, 9th Jun 2020

South Australian novice drivers and their parents have saved a million dollars in driving lessons thanks to the road safety initiative Keys2drive.

And with the return of lessons from today after the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, RAA wants to increase the use of the key road safety program to help reduce road trauma.

More than 23,000 South Australian learner drivers and their supervisors have already taken advantage of the free hour-long Keys2drive lessons worth around $1 million since they began in 2009.

The Commonwealth funded one-off lessons involve theory and practice and are designed to improve the safety, skills and knowledge of both learner drivers and their supervisors.

However, a recent RAA survey of more than 3000 senior school students found only 15 per cent were aware of the program’s existence.

RAA Senior Manager Community Engagement Ben Haythorpe said the survey also showed a keen demand for professional lessons among the youngsters, especially females.

“Almost a third (32%) of students said they would rather be taught by a professional driving instructor compared to 26 per cent who would rather be taught by their parents and 42 per cent who didn’t have a preference,’’ Mr Haythorpe said.

“Females were more likely to prefer a professional driving instructor (35%) than their parents (22%), whereas males were much more evenly split with 29 per cent preferring a professional and 28 per cent preferring their parents.’’

Mr Haythorpe said supervisors, as well as learners, could greatly benefit from the additional support provided by a Keys2drive lesson with a professional instructor.

“Parents learn about the safety benefits of engagement though ongoing vigilance and interest in their child’s driving, including after they have gained their provisional licence,’’ he said.

“They can develop the confidence to help learners fix mistakes immediately and practise with purpose, by valuing quality learning over quantity.

“Keys2drive aims to produce better supervisors and the report shows parents are benefitting from the free lessons.’’ 

Mr Haythorpe said research by the University of New South Wales revealed participants were 40 per cent less likely to be involved in a crash that causes moderate to serious injury in their first six months on P-plates.

Tragically, 36 P-platers have lost their lives on South Australian in the past three years, according to police.

Once a young driver gains their P-plates, their crash risk increases 20–30 times, State Government figures also revealed.

Keys2drive lessons are funded by the Federal Government and sponsored by Australia's state and territory motoring clubs, including RAA.

They involve 30 minutes of theory and 30 minutes of practice for a learner and their supervisor (usually the parent) with an accredited driving instructor.

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