New Trial To Empower Young Victorians To Drive Safe Cars

The Andrews Labor Government is supporting a new trial that will help young Victorians overcome barriers in accessing a safe vehicle, while also collecting critical data to help drivers learn how to be safer on the road.

The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) is contributing $50,000 for the pilot program led by Empowr Mobility, a social enterprise that aims to improve access to safe vehicles, while developing safe driving behaviours and habits.

For the trial, Empowr has joined forces with organisations in regional hotspots Geelong and Shepparton to provide four young drivers access to a safe and fit-for-purpose vehicle.

Ganbina, an indigenous school-to-work transition program, will trial the program in Shepparton, while in Geelong, major regional employer Barwon Water will support the program through its progressive trainee program.

The vehicles for the trial, provided by IAG (Insurance Australia Group), have been fitted with telematics to collect driving data. Participants will use Empowr’s CAR[A] app, which will collect the data and provide real-time insights to help drivers learn how to be safer on the road.

Participants will have access to the vehicle for the duration of the three-month trial, improving their ability to connect with their local communities through work, education, and social opportunities.

The trial is addressing a number of current road safety concerns, including the rise in young people dying on Victorian roads – 22 people aged 18-25 have lost their lives already this year, compared to 14 in 2021.

Road safety authorities are also concerned with the number of people dying in older vehicles, with around two thirds of driver and passenger deaths over the past five years having occurred in a vehicle built more than a decade ago.

An evaluation will be conducted at the end of the pilot period to determine whether the program will be extended, and how to grow organisational participation. Empowr Mobility is seeded by the National Road Safety Partnership Program.