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Driving simulator makes safety fun

Published: April 20, 2021 2:47pm

A virtual and interactive driving simulator has made an exciting new addition to the Drive to the Future Program at Geraldton PCYC, helping to educate young drivers about road hazards and speed reduction in a fun way.

Complete with a steering wheel, driver pedals, manual transmission, seat belt and driver’s seat, the simulator allows students to safely practice their practical driving skills.

Centre Manager, Talya Quinn, said, “We are finding that many young people, particularly between the ages of 22 to 25 have anxiety about being on the road for the first time. Since being installed, the simulator has helped to increase their confidence levels and has become a great tool for easing this pressure.”

In regional towns like Geraldton, the only way to get to work is by car. So being able to drive is crucial to gaining independence. Unfortunately, getting a licence to drive is an expensive process, often out of reach for many young people. The PCYC Drive to the Future Program, funded by the Australian Government Safer Communities Program, ensures that more young drivers are safe and qualified to drive.

There are currently 20 young people participating in the Geraldton PCYC Drive to the Future program. As a part of the program, participants attend road safety sessions every Tuesday evening at the centre. Here, youth worker Andrew Mackay works with each participant to ensure they feel comfortable with their road safety skills.

Throughout the program participants are also supported through the licensing process, obtaining relevant identification, as well as financial support for each assessment in the licensing process.

Four participants have already passed their learners test this month, including Tia who passed successfully within two weeks of joining the program.

The simulator has been able to be used in PCYC Centres and public events across the State since 2019, including at Kensington PCYC and Geraldton PCYC, through funding provided by the Road Safety Commission.