MONARO High School students have been participating in the 2014 Snowy Hydro Young Driver Training Program this week. Students from high schools in Cooma, Corryong, Tumut, Jindabyne and Batlow all participate in the annual program.
The program was established in 2013 as a result of the partnership between Snowy Mountain Driving School and Snowy Hydro. The program is designed to show students the unique road conditions of the Snowy Mountains and help improve attitudes and driving behaviours of young people in the community.
The program is practised in a special 'skid car' that somewhat resembles a car with training wheels.
The idea is to show students how easy it is to lose control of a car in certain conditions.
The Snowy Mountain Driving School is owned and operated in Cooma by Craig Williams.
Being a former NSW Police Officer, Mr Williams has more than 20 years experience in driver training as well as experience working for the Roads & Traffic Authority.
"I am very passionate about educating young drivers and this partnership with Snowy Hydro in delivering the Young Driver Training Program allows me to educate more students on the risks of driving in the conditions of the Snowy Mountains," Mr Williams said.
"The skid-car used simulates losing control in icy conditions on the road and is a one-off opportunity that no other high school students in Australia get to experience."
Students were allowed to answer their phones and read text messages in the 'skid car' which enabled them to experience losing control of the car.
This demonstrated to the students that it is not acceptable to text or answer calls whilst driving. While some students enjoyed the 'skid car' experience, many also found it quite sickening to watch from the back seat.
The program provides a terrific outcome not only for students but also for the communities that share the roads of Snowy Mountains.