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Teensafe course well attended though Council support and cars are required

The school holiday Teensafe course was well attended in January at Moruya Speedway.

Above: students with an instructor doing a mechanical check of the cars at the beginning of each course to explain the basic car maintenance issues such as how to check oil, water and tyres then clean the windscreen. TeenSafe organiser, Gary Smith said "We have had students who did not know how to open a car hood and one who didn't know what a squeegee was to clean glass so Teensafe is unique in providing such training along with safe driving skills. "The Teensafe fleet is ageing and we are looking for any suitable vehicles at a reasonable price. The vehicle can be older and unregistered but must be in good mechanical condition Phone Gary Smith 0418174397 to discuss. Next course will be in April school holidays, rego form with details to be found at www.teensafemoruya.org or by email to garys.home@bigpond.com

Gary said "Council (ESC) has drastically reduced funding to Teensafe over the past few years to the point where our life span is limited. Other funding avenues from government are notoriously onerous to apply for in terms of complicated applications for volunteer not-for-profit community organisations like Teensafe. Also the recent 'Sports Rorts' grant funding to selective electorates has put the funding system into disrepute and distrust." Council's competing Ydrive operations are currently funded by a $125,000 grant from the NSW Government, which was awarded to Ydrive in June 2018 to fund the program for the next 18 months.

In 2017 the Department of Premier and Cabinet granted funding to run the pilot program, with the aim of reducing the number of young people involved in car accidents on Eurobodalla roads.

Additional contributions:

  • Alan May Holden donated the original Ydrive vehicle in 2017 and is currently involved in the program, appearing as a guest presenter at Ybudget car finance workshops.

  • In 2018, a one-off grant from the NSW Government allowed Ydrive to purchase a second training vehicle, allowing for greater flexibility with training sessions across Eurobodalla.

  • In 2019, Services NSW provided grant funding to run Ycheck car maintenance workshop and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet contributed to the cost of supplying the Ycheck safety kits.

  • In 2021 Round 3 of the Stronger Country Communities Fund the Eurobodalla Council received another $161,500 Council advise that since 2017 20 drivers have received their P Plates under Y-Drive

The locally volunteer-run TeenSafe program is conducted during school holiday periods at the Motor Sports Complex on Donnellys Drive, Moruya by a group of dedicated driving instructors. The TeenSafe program commenced in 1999 as a request from members of the local community to provide young people with information and practical experiences in safe driving. 'L' and 'P' plate drivers develop driving skills in a controlled environment and under the supervision of trained instructors. Their aim is to give 'L' and 'P' plate drivers basic driving skills and experiences in a safe and controlled environment. The courses are held over 1 day 10am-3pm with a maximum of 6-7 students. The program consists of both theory and practical elements and teaches basic skills as well as safety aspects of driving. It is a detailed presentation teaching driving skills in a fun, positive and safe manner with emphasis being placed on slowing down, hazard perception and the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Tuition is on a 'one to one' basis in the vehicles - all supplied by TeenSafe. Approximately 85% of the course consists of actual driving time and students are able to concentrate on basic driving skills without the added distraction of normal road traffic. Vehicle maintenance and safety checks are demonstrated and discussed. Volunteers are always being sought to assist in all aspects of the organisation of TeenSafe Courses, and all training will be provided for prospective volunteers. If you enjoy driving and inter-acting with young people volunteering with TeenSafe could be for you. Teensafe welcomes mature licenced drivers to help out for a day every couple of months by sitting in the passenger seat while a student drives, or by helping anytime with admin or car maintenance. Teensafe have a fleet of cars at Moruya Speedway. Gary Smith, Teensafe Manager says "If we can help teenagers drive safely, then the roads are safer for all of us" The next Teensafe course is planned for the school holidays on April 2021 at Moruya Speedway. Providing teenagers with a safe driving experience and education behind-the-wheel in a supervised environment. Just $80 !! For those interested in the course go to www.teensafemoruya.org for info and to register.

Enquiries to garys.home@bigpond.com or contact 0418174397

Teensafe works because of volunteers.

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