The state’s Roads and Maritime Services is considering changing its approach to teaching people how to drive in the next five years after research showed that driving lessons were costing the state billions.
A report by a Roads and Marine Services taskforce on improving driver education was released on Wednesday.
It found that the cost of driving lessons in the state was estimated at more than $1.3 billion.
“It is the most cost-effective way to improve road safety and it is also the safest way to teach people how they drive,” said Roads and Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard.
“That’s why the government has been reviewing our approach to driving and is considering the potential for a further review to ensure we are doing the right thing.”
The report found that more than half of drivers aged 15 to 24 would be more likely to take a lesson if they had been taught by a teacher who had been certified in driving and road safety.
“The fact that our schools are doing this is a positive step in that direction,” Mr Hazzar said.
The government said the cost savings could be made up by increasing teacher certification and training, as well as reducing the amount of time drivers spend behind the wheel.
The Department of Transport said its priority was to improve safety on the road, not just for motorists, but for people in the community.
“Driving safety has been a major focus for the government since the Victorian Government introduced its Road Safety Strategy in 2010 and this report is an important reminder that the current system is not working,” a spokeswoman said.
“There is a strong correlation between the amount and quality of driver training provided and the overall quality of our roads.”
We have invested more than 10 per cent of our total road safety budget into improving our driver training system.
“The Department for Education said it was also reviewing the way its driver education programs were taught in the Victorian system.”
All lessons taught in this country have to be accredited, but our primary aim is to train people on the roads,” the department said.