Young drivers in Yarra Ranges will be able to access free driving lessons from local mentors for another four years, thanks to a recent funding announcement from the State Government.
Minister for Roads, Jaala Pulford, visited Yarra Ranges earlier this month to announce a four year funding extension to the L2P Learner Driver Mentor Program, which links young drivers with volunteer mentors who provide supervised driving experience through access to a sponsored vehicle.
Yarra Ranges Mayor, Tony Stevenson, said the L2P program had been vital for more than 110 young people, who otherwise would have had difficulties getting their hours up.
“The reality is, not every young person in our community has the same access to a car and a licensed driver to help train them towards receiving their probationary licence,” Cr Stevenson said.
“Having access to a licence can make a dramatic improvement in a young person’s life, and help them to access work and reduce social isolation, especially when growing up in the more remote areas of the Yarra Ranges.
“Without support and a mentor to show them the ropes, it can be extremely difficult to achieve that goal, and that’s where L2P comes in.
“In the seven years we’ve run the L2P program, we’ve had 100 volunteer mentors helping more than 110 young people to drive for almost 15,000 hours and complete their Learner’s Logbooks, which is a fantastic achievement.
“Thank you to the State Government for seeing the worth of this program and giving us certainty to continue and grow the program. We also extend our thanks to the volunteer mentors and community sponsors who make a real difference for many young people.”
To join the L2P program, a young person must be between 16-20 years of age, hold a current learner’s permit, and not have access to a vehicle, a supervising driver or both.
The additional funding comes through the Traffic Accident Commission (TAC).
Council’s L2P program also receives support from Warburton, Yarra Junction and Mooroolbark Community Bank branches, Anchor and Gecko Signs.
To get involved, learn more or sign up to be a volunteer mentor, visit Yarra Ranges’ L2P page