Lismore’s new Regional Driver Education Facility will increase driver awareness of risks on the road and encourage better decision-making behind the wheel, the Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said.
Opening Stage 1 today, Mr Hogan said: “This project has been talked about since our community’s tragic loss of four young lives in a car crash at Broken Head Road in 2006.
“Any life lost on our roads is far too many. This facility will help reduce the tragic loss of life by fostering better hazard-perception skills and providing a safe environment for young drivers to learn the skills of low-risk driving.
“The facility is good news for learner drivers and people who want to update their driving skills, as well as older drivers and people with disabilities.
“Around 5,000 people will use the facility each year and take their skills home where they will contribute to safer roads in their communities.
“I would like to acknowledge the hard work of Southern Cross LADS for not only raising awareness about the need for better driver education but for also fundraising since early 2007, together with many service clubs, to make it a reality,” Mr Hogan said.
The track is about 500 metres in circumference and built on a 50 acre site on the outskirts of Lismore.
It features various road conditions including ‘wet’ conditions, roundabouts for vision and steering training, corners of various radii, a straight sufficient for vehicles to accelerate to 80km/h, sand traps and a spectator viewing area.
Southern Cross LADS Chairman Paul Rippon thanked the community for its incredible support.
“Many people have worked hard for this occasion, and it is very exciting we are finally here,” he said.
“The community has been incredibly supportive of Southern Cross LADS and has helped keep the dream alive. We are excited this very important day has arrived,” said Mr Rippon.
He said the contribution from the Federal Government of $250,000 enabled Southern Cross LADS to achieve its goal of $800,000 much sooner than expected.