Council is seeking mentor drivers to provide assistance to young learner drivers as part of the TAC L2P Program.
The free program has supported over 330 learners with their L2P hours and helped over 160 young drivers gain their licence.
Now in its 12th year, the L2P Program – Funded by the TAC, managed by the Department of Transport and Planning across the state, and delivered locally by Yarra Ranges Council – matches learner drivers aged 16 to 21 with a fully-licensed volunteer driver and practice vehicle to help them gain the 120 hours behind the wheel needed to apply for a probationary licence.
Graham Hutchins, a mentor with the L2P program for over five years said the benefits of the program go far beyond just learning to drive.
“Working with young people is a real buzz and the biggest buzz of all is helping them to get their license, but it’ also seeing them develop their driving skills and setting them up for being a good and safe driver.”
“For many young people, getting their driver’s license is a rite of passage – it represents a new level of independence and freedom, but learning to drive can also be a daunting and intimidating process, so we’re able to provide them with the guidance and support they need to navigate the learning process and gain the skills and confidence they need to become safe, responsible drivers.”
Johnny, an L2P learner driver, is aiming to get his licence soon after being supported by volunteer driver mentor Graham Hutchins.
“I’ve been working alongside Graham and putting into practice what he teaches me to do, and I’ve now got 61 hours and 40 minutes, which I’m really proud of.”
“For me, I wouldn’t have been able to get these hours without the program and it’s helped me to be able to know what to do and what not to do on the road and made me more confident.”
The L2P program is open to young people in the Yarra Ranges area who have a learner’s permit but do not have access to a car or a licensed driver to supervise them.
Mayor, Cr Jim Child, said it’s a win/win situation for our community, and encouraged people to apply to become a mentor.
“The L2P Programs is an excellent program with incredibly kind and supportive staff and volunteers, and it provides a unique opportunity for young people to interact with positive adult role models, gain confidence, and move towards social independence,” Mayor Jim Child said.
“We are always looking for both volunteer mentors and learners to take on the program.”