RTO NO 3037

Safe Student Driving Program

It is an extremely exciting period of a young person’s life when they first get their car licence, and so it should be. For many it signifies the arrival of adulthood, where new responsibilities, opportunities and adventures await.

Tragically however, for many communities, this milestone is only met by heartbreak, whereby a young person loses their life or is injured in a vehicle accident. The reality is, first year drivers are up to four times more likely to be involved in a serious crash than older, more experienced drivers. Despite the efforts of many, people aged 18-25, who only make up 14% of those driving on Victorian roads, account for an unfortunately significant 28% of all road fatalities, with nearly 75% of all young people admitted to hospital being so as a result of a road accident.

DECA is a not-for-profit Victorian Government owned company with over 30 years of experience working with schools, communities and young people. With a mission to make a meaningful contribution to the safety of young Australian drivers, we at DECA continue to invest heavily in preparing young people for getting out onto the road, and the DECA Safe Student Driving Program is our newest and most effective program yet in achieving this.

The DECA Safe Student Driving Program educates adolescents on the dangers of driving, and helps them establish for themselves the best way to stay safe when they get their licence. The success of this program derives from empowering people with the ability to make better, safer decisions when on the road, rather than just telling them how to drive. It also provides an opportunity for students to apply these positive behaviours in a practical driving environment.

This program is not about teaching students how to drive as would be the case when driving with parents or driving instructors. But rather, it provides knowledge and skills that can be adopted whilst learning, establishing the safe behaviours required for when they obtain their licences.

The DECA Safe Student Driving Program focuses on seven key topics:

  • Vehicle safety
  • Alcohol and drugs
  • Hazard perception
  • Observation and planning
  • Technology and distractions
  • Attitudes toward other road users
  • Effects of speed and distance


Who should be interested?

The DECA Safe Student Driving Program has been designed specifically for young adolescents aged 16 to 17 who may already have their car learner permit or are about to get their learner permit. For this reason, any high school or community group that are concerned about the well-being of their student or membership base should consider this program. For the program to run effectively, a minimum number of 24 participants will be required.


Course structure:

DECA understands the busy schedules of schools, teachers and their students, and therefore take a very flexible approach to how we deliver this program. We will work with interested high schools and community groups in customizing the delivery method to fit in with your needs.

The training is made up of the following:

Theory group session

The theory presentation includes group activities and discussion, allowing peer groups to identify common issues together and work out acceptable solutions. In the right setting, young peer groups have a positive effect on one another as they discuss their own experiences and feel at ease to relate these to other groups and the facilitator.

Practical behavioral training

With a training ratio of four students to one trainer, participants will be taken through practical training where key behaviours covered in the theory group sessions will be applied to a real world driving environment.

Keeping students in small groups as they undertake the practical training further enhances the learning experienced. Passengers get the opportunity to observe how others react to situations, further reinforcing the key messages covered in the training. In addition to observing, passengers will be involved in simple activities whilst a peer is driving.

Students who already hold car learner permits will be taken out onto public roads in dual controlled vehicles to apply the learnt skills. Students without car learner permits will be taken to secured driving areas for practice.