When Rex Lang’s ‘adopted’ grandson displayed positive driving habits as a provisional-plate driver many years ago, he knew that good young drivers deserved some recognition.
Years later, young drivers from across the Port Pirie district are being rewarded for their positive driving behaviours.
The Port Pirie and Districts Road Safety Group celebrated the end of their 2016 Positive Ps campaign by awarding the October award for good driving to 18-year-old Molly Smith.
Molly was full of praise for the program and said she felt honoured to win the October award.
She said the merits of the program, which sees young drivers rewarded for good driving, are beneficial for all road users.
“I think bad drivers shouldn't be generalised to just P-platers. Some can be good and some can be bad like all drivers,” Molly said.
“It’s good having the award, it encourages all drivers to drive more carefully.”
Molly had recently finished year 12 at St Mark’s College and hoped to become a police officer.
She hoped the award would help with her application.
Port Pirie and Districts Road Safety Group vice president Rex Lang said that the 2016 program had seen about 30 drivers on average nominated each month for the award.
He said that the driving record of P-plate drivers in Port Pirie for 2016 was indicative of the program’s effectiveness.
“As far as we know there has been no P-plater involved in a serious accident in Port Pirie,” Rex said.
“It has been going for a few years now and the winners are young people who have part-time jobs or still at school at they pass the word around. I think it is rubbing off on the new P-platers.”
The group’s success was rewarded with a nomination for a state-wide Community Achievement Award and was a top three finalist for the Jones Hartley Toole Community Road Safety Award.
Rex thanked the Yorke and Mid North Local Service Area Police, Port Pirie businesses Repco, Autopro, Supercheap Auto, Mensland, Second Skin and New Wave as well as Southern Cross Television and Recorder newspaper for their support of the program.
Officer-in-Charge of Yorke and Mid North Local Service Area, Superintendent Scott Denny, praised the program.
“It is a fact that young drivers are often over represented in terms of serious injury collisions on our roads,” Supt Denny said.
“The aim of the Positive Ps program is to encourage safe and responsible driving on our roads and role model this driving to others.
“Every effort we can take as a community to reduce the trauma on our roads is a positive step.”