Eighty creative young Queenslanders have gathered in Brisbane to brainstorm ways to get young drivers into safer vehicles.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said participants were part of the fourth annual Co-Lab Youth Road Safety Challenge.
“Encouraging safer vehicle choices by younger, less experienced drivers is a key priority for government,” Mr Bailey said.
“This year’s Co-Lab Youth Road Safety Challenge invites young people to come up with an innovative online campaign idea to get young drivers into the safest car for their budget.
“We know young people are driving older cars that may not provide the critical protection they need to save lives in a crash. The average age of vehicles owned by 16 to 24-year-olds is between 10 and 14 years.
“This is very concerning when young people continue to be one of the most at-risk groups on the road. In 2018, 47 young lives were tragically cut short because of crashes on Queensland roads. Sadly, these people made up 19 per cent of last year’s road toll.
Mr Bailey said this year’s Co-Lab challenge provided a great opportunity to educate young drivers that vehicle safety was an important factor to consider when purchasing a car, especially given their higher risk of crashing due to inexperience.
“Research tells us vehicle safety is not a top priority for this vulnerable group. Unfortunately owning a safe car usually takes a backseat to costs and looks,” he said.
“We know buying a car is one of the first big and important decisions young people make. Co-Lab provides a great opportunity for us to work with young people to help encourage their peers to look beyond the cheapest car, to buying the safest car they can afford for their budget.
“Last year we developed and released the SafeCars App. This is a simple tool to help people compare and choose the safest car – new or used – for their budget.
“The new Co-Lab campaign will complement this app further encouraging people to consider vehicle safety as a priority in their purchase decision.
“By driving a vehicle with more modern safety features and a higher safety rating, you can reduce the risk of yourself and others dying or being seriously injured in a crash.
“Now in its fourth year, the Co-Lab initiative has proven to be an effective means of empowering young people and achieving behaviour change.
“Since the first Co-Lab challenge in 2015, we have collaborated with hundreds of young people to create the highly successful ‘Road to zero’, ‘Chin up’ and ‘Settle down stallion’ campaigns, which combined have reached more than 12 million people.”
The Co-Lab Youth Road Safety Challenge was one of several initiatives announced by the Queensland Government from the Safer Roads, Safer Queensland forum in 2015.