Despite the fact Ed Mulligan doesnt have children, the recent loss of young lives on North Coast roads has prompted the 4WD World owner to take matters into his own hands.
Last week Mr Mulligan launched Survive Your Drive a driver education and training program targeting 17 to 24-year-olds.
As part of the program, free theory sessions will be held once a month in Lismore, and if young people want to continue they then pay $50 to undertake a one-day practical driving session with accredited driving instructors. People 25 and over are also welcome, although they will have to pay $100.
Mr Mulligan already has the support of local car dealers, who have donated six vehicles that young people can use during the hands-on driver training.
Supported by the City of Lismore Lions Club, Mr Mulligan says the program will help young drivers hone their defensive driving skills and be more aware on the road. Lions hopes to roll the program out across the state in the next six to 12 months.
Im not a parent but I like driving and I like cars, and I see all these young people killing themselves, which is just tragic, Mr Mulligan said. Ive got the means and the motivation, and I feel it would be remiss of me not to take action. My belief is that the government will not help our community in any way, shape or form and for every week and every month we dont do something more young people will die or be seriously injured.
Mr Mulligan said during the field days, young people will be taught in a controlled environment how to handle a car on different surfaces such as gravel and bitumen, while also learning about braking manoeuvres and other life-saving skills. He says its important that young people know what to do if they find themselves in trouble.
As well as educating young people and changing their attitudes, we need to teach them to be able to react instinctively when something happens on the road, said Mr Mulligan. And the whole idea is to make the practical course fun, because you cant coerce kids you have to attract them.
The first of the free theory seminars was held in Lismore this week, with the planned for late January.
For more information or to register for the program phone 6622 3755 or visit www.surviveyourdrive.com.au.
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