Whittlesea’s youngest councillor is on a mission to improve the driving skills of young drivers.
Cr Emilia Lisa Sterjova has asked the council to investigate the establishment of a driving skills program for young people.
The program, which would be run in partnership with a local driving school, would address high risk issues such as driving on gravel roads and texting while driving.
Cr Sterjova also wants the council to consider starting a road safety education program in secondary schools. Both programs would be cost neutral to the council and would become part of the council’s Road Safety Strategy.
Cr Sterjova said the programs would be beneficial, given that crash data showed that young people between 18-25 years-old were most likely to be involved in road accidents.
Between 2012-16, 18-25 year-olds accounted for 19 per cent of the fatalities and serious injury crashes in Whittlesea – more than any other age group.
“The statistics around road accidents in the City of Whittlesea are still startling,” Cr Sterjova said.
She said she was particularly passionate about educating young people about the dangers of driving on dirt roads. Earlier this year, she was involved in an accident on a dirt road, in which she lost control of her car after slamming on her brakes.
Cr Sterjova said her inexperience driving on dirt roads had put her in a dangerous situation.
“If I knew not to slam on my brakes on gravel roads it would have been a different outcome,” she said.
“As a volunteer with Whittlesea SES, I have since had to learn to drive on dirt roads and it is a whole new skill-set. I thought that if I can benefit from learning about driving on dirt roads then other young people can too.”