HOW A UNIQUE COMMUNITY ROAD SAFETY WORKSHOP BECAME A STATE-WIDE SUCCESS
The Fit to Drive Foundation Inc. is a not for profit organisation dedicated to reducing road trauma in young people aged 16 to 25. Our mission is to engage with young people to deliver road safety messages that will empower and support young road users (aged 16-25) to achieve zero deaths on Victorian roads.
The philosophy of the Fit to Drive Foundation incorporates the belief that young people have the capacity to change and influence attitudes and behaviours in relation to risky road use and supports them to take responsibility for keeping themselves and their mates safe. We don’t teach driving skills, instead focusing on the responsibilities of all young people regardless of what type of road user they are.
The Fit to Drive Foundation was founded on a community’s passion and commitment to act to keep their young people safe on the road. That same commitment is reflected in every community we’ve travelled to since and that’s why we’ve been able to reach 100,000 Victorian Year 11s in under five years.
- Debbie Collings, Fit to Drive Foundation CEO
1999 7 young people lost their lives on local roads in an 18-month period in Frankston and on the Mornington Peninsula. In response, former school principal, Graham Spencer, led community members to form a Young Driver Committee (now known as the Fit to Drive Foundation). At this time, the committee worked to spread road safety education resources throughout schools in the local community.
2002 The committee gathered research and expertise from leading road safety authorities, including Victoria Police and Victoria’s fire services, and developed a school-based workshop. In order to fund these workshops across schools in Frankston and on the Mornington Peninsula, the inaugural Arthurs Seat Challenge, a community fun-run, was held.
2008 The Fit to Drive Foundation became an incorporated organisation.
2010 The delivery of the original F2D Year 11 Workshop had grown from an initial 18 schools in Frankston and on the Mornington Peninsula to approximately 160 schools across 10 local government areas in Victoria.
2012 Following the devastating loss of more young lives in Mill Park, Coroner Heather Spooner stated - “I recommend that VicRoads and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), in association with their other road safety education partners, undertake an evaluation of the "Fit2Drive" community road safety program for secondary school students to determine the success of the program in empowering participants to make safe decisions, modifying their behaviour and ultimately in reducing their crash risk”
2013 Following Coroner Spooner’s findings, the state government recognised the F2D Year 11 Workshop as the leading road safety education provider for secondary school students in Victoria.
2014 Both TAC and VicRoads came on board as major partners of the Foundation and collaborated to reintroduce what we now know as the VicRoads F2D Year 11 Workshop.
2015 Coroner Jacqui Hawkins recommended “F2D Program, which is supported by TAC, VicRoads and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will be expanded to be available in all secondary schools in Victoria. I endorse this program and encourage its continuation”.
2016 Adding to the continued delivery of the VicRoads F2D Year 11 Workshop, The Fit to Drive Foundation on behalf of TAC, rolled out three new state-wide programs; Student Voices Road Safety Forum, Smarter Moves Community Road Safety Forum and LegitiMate.
2018 Since its reintroduction in 2014, the VicRoads F2D Year 11 Workshop proudly grew and extended its delivery to 70 local government areas, visiting 369 unique schools to deliver 872 workshops to over 100,000 Victorian students.
2019 A celebration of reaching over 100,000 students since 2014 was marked at McClelland College (formerly Karingal Park College) where the first workshop was held. The Foundation continues to work with its many partners to ensure the delivery of road safety messages to young people and their families across Victoria.