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Young drivers in the hot seat for road safety ideas

DRIVING ON: Elizabeth Pitt showing her p-plates in Mundubbera.
DRIVING ON: Elizabeth Pitt showing her p-plates in Mundubbera. Philippe Coquerand

MAIN Roads and Road Safety minister Mark Bailey are putting young drivers in the spotlight with a new campaign to bring more awareness to the need for new drivers to be properly equipped before setting out alone.

North Burnett resident and p-plate holder Elizabeth Pitt experienced a nightmare scenario on her first drive alone, when she was involved in a fiery traffic accident at Brigalow Creek.

At the time Miss Pitt was understandably shaken and voiced some concerns about whether she had been properly prepared for some of the dangers and risks associated with driving.

"I only had my p-plates for a week and I didn't have enough experience to avoid the obstruction on the road,” Miss Pitt said.

Miss Pitt swerved on the Isis Highway to avoid a rabbit on Christmas Eve 2015, causing her to veer into the side of the road bridge, lodging her car against the road wall before it started to catch on fire.

"I couldn't let go of the steering wheel because I was in shock,” Miss Pitt said.

Luckily a passerby was able to stop and pull Miss Pitt from the wreck.

When told about the new campaign to help equip young drivers with more safety awareness Miss Pitt was in agreement.

"I do agree actually, I learned a lot from the accident but I think better preparedness for young drivers before it gets to that point would be a big bonus for young drivers,” Miss Pitt said.

One of the ideas Miss Pitt liked the sound of was a defensive driving course for driving aged school students.

"Definitely defensive driving would help and probably making people more aware of the risks,” Miss Pitt said.

"Such as animals, especially if they aren't used to driving in areas with a lot of wild life.”

A Co-Lab Challenge was held with Queenslanders aged 17 to 27 to challenge the attitude around death and injury on our roads, Mr Bailey said.

"The complacency that exists around road trauma needs to be continuously challenged as 6500 people are hospitalised each year as a result of road trauma,” he said.

"And last year 251 people were killed lives on Queensland roads.”

Young Queenslanders were challenged to find new and innovative ways to spread the road safety message.

"In the last five years, young adult drivers and riders accounted for 22% of those involved in serious crashes but only make up 13.9% of licence holders,” Mr Bailey said.

Last year's campaign, 'Chin Up' focused on mobile phone use, reaching almost 4 million people along with 2.2 million individual video views.

Research showed that 60% of the target audience reduced their mobile phone use in the car.

Topics:  driver safety mark bailey


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