Graduates on the fast track to a safe driving future

IT’S full gear ahead for three local motorbike drivers after officially graduating from the Glenorchy City Council and Bucaan Community House ‘Full Gear Program.’

Glenorchy City Council youth development officer Elisa Ryan said the program saw the students spend six weeks with a motorbike instructor and social worker going through road safety, road craft and consequences of bad behaviours on the road.

“They also developed their own road safety campaign, heard stories from people involved in accidents after not riding safely on the road and had a visit from Legal Aid to explain the legalities of ensuring they are registered and insured,” she said.

“The culmination of the program was a two-day motorcycle course through AJL which incorporated a practical test so they could then apply for their learner’s licence.

“I’m thrilled to say they all passed and we will see them on the road soon, riding safely.

“Neighbourhood Watch Tasmania sponsored a voucher for the graduates to cover their licence application fee, as cost can be prohibitive for many young people.

“This helps get them on the road, doing what they love, in a safe and legal manner.”

Graduates Zach Evans-Fenton and siblings Cait and Jade Santi said they now had a much greater understanding of road safety and motorbikes.

And they said they were much more aware of other road users.

Mr Evans-Fenton said it meant freedom for him and it was good to be out on the road by himself.

“I would have got my licence without doing the program, but I would’ve lost it pretty quick,” he said.

“After learning about road craft, I’ve realised it’s also thinking about other people on the road.”

Ms Santi said gaining her motorcycle learner’s licence would be a privilege for her as it meant she wouldn’t have to rely on others anymore.

“I can just hop on my bike and go,” she said.

“I’m sick of catching buses, which I’ve been doing for about 10 years, so it will now be easier to get from point A to B.

“No words can describe how I feel.”

Mr Santi said he had now secured employment as a concreter and travelled to Port Huon every day.

He said his new bike licence came in very handy.

“It means I can go to the shops for my mum, do errands and repay favours I’ve asked of others,” he said.

“It’s a big step forward to being able to ride on the road legally.

“It’s important when you are riding with friends to just enjoy your ride and worry about yourself.

“Riding with fully licenced motorcyclists means you just put in rest stops so everyone catches up.”

Funded by State Growth’s Road Safety Grants Program, Full Gear was developed in partnership between Glenorchy City Council and Buccan Community House for young people aged between 16 and 24 to reduce risk-taking behaviours on the road.

Caption: From left, Zach Evans-Fenton, aged 17, Cait Santi, aged 24, and Jade Santi, aged 20.