THE Bass Coast Learner Driver Mentor Program (L2P) is seeking new mentors and learners who live on Phillip Island.
Bass Coast L2P coordinator, Veronica Dowman, said the Wonthaggi Neighbourhood Centre, which manages the program in Bass Coast, would like to locate a program car in Cowes.
“L2P helps 16 to 21 year-old learner drivers without access to a supervising driver or vehicle, to gain the 120 hours’ driving experience needed to obtain their probationary licence,” Veronica said.
The program would like to locate a car in Cowes and needs to recruit more mentors and learner drivers who live on the Island.
“It will open up a wonderful opportunity for young people on Phillip Island who have not been able to access the program before.”
Veronica said L2P is free for eligible young people. Learners have access to professional driving lessons and are supervised by VicRoads trained mentors.
“It is a community based program funded by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) with 65 programs coordinated across Victoria by VicRoads.
“It is supplemented by the generosity of local organisations such as the Bass Coast Community Foundation and businesses such as the Cowes, San Remo, Inverloch and Grantville Community Bank branches of the Bendigo Bank.”
The program’s benefits are many for both the learner and the mentor according to Neil Beddoe, a Phillip Island mentor.
“Learners who gain their licence have improved access to employment, further education and training and learners who undertake 120 supervised driving hours are significantly less likely to be involved in a serous crash injury in their first 12 months of licenced driving,” Neil said.
Peter Mertens, another mentor, believes volunteer mentors are critical to the success of the program as they provide guidance to the learner drivers.
“It is a very rewarding role! They are helping to reduce the road toll. But we need more mentors – especially on Phillip Island,” Peter said.
If you would like to become a VicRoads trained mentor or a learner in the program, contact Veronica on 0467 590 679 or 5672 3731 or email basscostl2p@hotmail.com