Young drivers expert to speak at road safety event

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Young drivers expert to speak at road safety event

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Published on 29 May 2014

A University of the Sunshine Coast expert in young driver road safety will share her research findings with the public at a special Fatality Free Friday event at Sunshine Plaza on Friday 30 May.

The road safety information event from 9am to 3pm has been organised by the Sunshine Coast Council in conjunction with Queensland Police and the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

USC’s Dr Bridie Scott-Parker will be available from 9am to 10.30am and is keen to chat with teenagers and parents of teenagers about her research, which aims to reduce the number of deaths and injuries arising from crashes involving young drivers.

“The first six months of independent driving and the first month driving with a P1 licence in particular are the riskiest times for all young drivers,” Dr Scott-Parker said.

“The learner licence phase plays a really important part in young driver road safety. This is the time when we need mum and dad, professional instructors and others, like friends and employers, to help the learner gain a wide variety of supervised driving practice.

“While travelling to and from school is important practice, think about where and with whom the young driver will travel when they are by themselves. Practise this driving with a supervisor who is there to help detect and react to driving hazards.

“We also know that friends and family play an important role during the provisional licence phase. Friends can be a positive influence by refusing to travel with an unsafe driver.

“Parents may not know that sharing the family vehicle is just one of the options which can help keep their young driver safe.”

Earlier this month, Dr Scott-Parker presented her research at the Australian Academy of Science in Canberra after being named one of the academy’s 10 Science Stars of Tomorrow for 2014.

Dr Scott-Parker, of Upper Caboolture, is a Research Fellow with the University of the Sunshine Coast Accident Research (USCAR) group and has a PhD in Psychology from Queensland University of Technology.

– Terry Walsh

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