Teenage drivers on the rise in Tasmania

Wednesday 26 February, 2020
Photos: 500 Car Club of Tasmania
The 500 Car Club of Tasmania has wrapped up its junior development program for 2019/2020 with more than 80 students attending the program across four events.
Set on their regular course at Baskerville Raceway, and being the only club in the state offering something of this nature, the three-year-old program is focused at developing the basic skills of a manual car required in the everyday world.
From general car maintenance and the basics of driving, to the more complicated matters of clutch control, instructors from the club were on hand during each session to educate the students and give them vital experience behind the wheel.
With 23 students attending the last class for what was has been successful period, the club’s Junior Development Officer Daniel Davies was pleased with the positive feedback received from both students and parents.
“Our feedback has been pretty good throughout the four events. Parents are really happy with the basic elements of what we’re trying to do,” Davies said.
“We’re teaching a little bit about general car maintenance and the basics of driving. The core things they need to know to get started and in driving generally.

“There is also a focus on teaching manuals cars, as well as how to change a wheel on a car, which is really useful because a lot of people don’t know how to do a flat a tyre.


“We also spend a lot of time on clutch control when doing the driving exercises. It really gives them a better idea of how things are working in the car and how they apply control to these mechanisms.” 

During each session, there are three cars on hand for the students to utilise with the instructor sitting in the car with them while they undergo the different activities.
Making it even better for the students is the lack of pressure on them while they drive with the course set in an empty space with nothing but bollards, allowing them to focus on just driving without distractions – a factor that Davies believes is helpful.
“Our aim is to provide kids with the ability to come somewhere that doesn’t have all the same environmental factors that are on the road,” Davies added.

“All they have is an open area with some bollards. They can focus on clutch control and steering without the pressure of driving on a road.


“Another important element to our program is the instructors who come every time do a fantastic job in working with the kids develop what they want to learn.
“It’s based on the student improving what they need to work on. There is no stress about achieving different milestones. It’s all about progressing at their own pace.”