Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is driver education?
Driver education or safe driving programs seek to influence the decisions that young people make as drivers or passengers. These programs aim to address the motivational factors that influence driver attitudes and behaviours. Driver education is taught in Secondary schools as part of the NSW Board of Studies Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) Key Learning Area. It includes passenger safety and the use of occupant restraints, and the main issues for young drivers of drink driving, speeding and fatigue. School based driver education addresses risk taking, peer influence and the decision-making skills needed for safe road use behaviour. School based and delivered driver education programs are the preferred model of delivery for safe road use in NSW Secondary schools.
2. What is driver training?
Driver training is teaching behind the wheel and focuses on the development of vehicle handling skills. Driver training courses are not a component of driver education or the school curriculum.
3. Why isn’t behind-the-wheel training encouraged in schools?
Research into school based driver training programs has consistently found that there is little or no evidence of reduced crash involvement as a result of participating in these courses. There is also evidence that some programs have led to earlier licensing for students. This may increase the exposure for young drivers and increase their involvement in accidents (Rafferty and Wundersitz, 2011; Wooley, 2003). Driver training programs may also lead to a level of over confidence in young drivers that is not consistent with their practical driving skills. Evidence suggests that young people who obtain their licences later on have less chances of having a crash.
4. Why aren’t shock tactics recommended?
The assumption that young people’s attitudes and behaviour can be changed by exposing them to shocking messages and gruesome images is not backed by research. Messages that are intended to arouse a high level of shock or anxiety are unlikely to do so because young people are often detached from the intended message and think “it won’t happen to me”.
5. Are these the most recent secondary school resources from Transport for NSW?
Yes. The resources on this website are the most current resources developed by Transport for NSW in partnership with the education sectors. They have already been distributed in hardcopy to all secondary schools in NSW. The resources have been made available online for ease of access. Please note that references and statistics may be out of date, but were correct at the time of original publication. Current statistics and information can be found at Centre for Road Safety website.
6. Will there be any new resources?
Transport for NSW will develop new resources in the future. New resources will be published on this website. You will be notified of new resources by your education sector.
7. Who can school teachers contact for support in Road Safety Education?
Last update: 6th November 2020