Empowering Older Learner Drivers

Published on 14 March 2024


In a proactive move towards enhancing road safety and supporting older learners in the community, Benalla Rural City Council has announced the initiation of the Drive to Independence program.

The program aims to assist older learner drivers who lack access to a fully licensed driver, providing them with the necessary driving experience to become safer drivers and obtain their probationary license.

The Drive to Independence program is an extension of the highly successful TAC L2P initiative, a state-wide program funded by TAC, managed by VicRoads, and locally coordinated by Benalla Rural City Council. While TAC L2P primarily focuses on learners aged 16-23, the new program responds to the needs of older residents seeking assistance to acquire essential driving skills.

Chair of the local TAC L2P Steering Committee Chris Lewis-Williams, who is also the co-owner of Benalla Tyrepower, expressed the community's demand for such a program.

"Our program has had a number of local residents who are older than 23, contact us about helping them as they have no local support network to help them learn to drive," Mr Lewis-Williams said.

The Rotary Club of Benalla has generously stepped forward to fund the trial program with a contribution of $3,500. This funding enables Council to run the trial for older learners without impacting the accessibility of the program for younger participants.

Mayor Cr Danny Claridge is grateful to the Rotary Club of Benalla for their donation and hopes the trial period is successful in making the program permanent in our community.

"We are grateful to the Rotary Club of Benalla for their generous contribution, allowing us to trial this program for older learners. We hope that the trial will provide valuable evidence to state and federal governments, highlighting the need for a more organised approach to assisting older learners in making safe choices on the roads," Cr Claridge stated.

“The trial is set to run until the end of June 2024, I encourage eligible individuals to participate in the trial and invites potential volunteer mentors to join the initiative.”

For information on how to register an interest in participating in the trial or becoming a volunteer mentor, please contact the TAC L2P Program Coordinator at 03 5760 2600.


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