Taken from the Australasian College of Road Safety (ACRS) newsletter.

Getting help to gain a driver’s licence is life-changing for disadvantaged people across New South Wales.  The roadblocks to obtaining a licence have prompted community groups, governments, police and Aboriginal elders, to push for a program that gets more people safely and legally on the road.

Key points:

  • The NSW Driver Licensing Access Programs is geared to breaking down barriers that prevent people getting a licence
  • Since 2015, 7,500 people in the program have gained their L- or P-plates across over 100 communities
  • Community-run driver-training programs have also had success by improving access to education, employment and health services

The driver’s licence access program focuses on licensing enrolment support, learner driver mentoring and supervision, road safety, and access to roadworthy vehicles.

For Trista Latham, the community-driven program she went through at Raymond Terrace gave her confidence and freedom that had eluded her for years. “I wouldn’t have thought, two years ago … that all of this has happened the way it happened and I wouldn’t have thought I would be this far already,” she said.

She got her L-plates a while ago and, after being gifted a car and accruing her logbook hours, Ms Latham has just obtained her provisional driver’s licence.  “I didn’t have anybody to take me, and I was scared to drive in somebody else’s car as well,” Ms Latham said. “It freaked me out a lot.  And then to go and get lessons and say, ‘We can do this’, and I could go, ‘OK cool, I can drive’.”

Licence is a golden ticket

Driving was also on Caylum Rowling’s agenda.  He did not own a car but got his P-plates a few months ago and went through the same program as Ms Latham. “It is like a golden ticket; it has opened up so many pathways,” Mr Rowling said.  “It has opened up more avenues that I can explore and more freedom.”

Read the Complete Article here.

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