Learner drivers in the ACT will be able to take first aid courses and count credit towards their driving logbooks under a new scheme to begin this week.
Learner drivers will be able to claim five hours towards their mandatory supervised driving hours requirement by taking one of eight approved courses.
Transport Minister Chris Steel said the scheme would allow students to complete first-aid training designed to assisted following crashes.
"The first people on the scene of a collision are often other drivers, so ensuring more drivers have a basic understanding of first aid could make a big difference to those involved in the crash. The program won't just provide the skills that could save a life, it is a reminder to the next generation of drivers of the serious consequences that crashes have on our roads," Mr Steel said.
Mr Steel announced almost a year ago announced the government would update its learner driver scheme to offer logbook credit for completing a first-aid course, and fund research to consider whether the training should be mandatory for new drivers.
Learner drivers will need to have held their licence for at least three months before completing one of the approved courses.
The courses will be delivered either online, face-to-face or in combination, the government said.
Learner licence holders can already access a 10-hour logbook credit for completing the vulnerable road user program, while licence holders aged 25 and under can have a 20-hour credit for completing the safer driver course.
"Together these programs provide young learner drivers under 25 years with up to 35 hours credit towards the 100 mandatory hours and provide them with skills that could potentially save lives," Mr Steel said.
First-aid courses completed before the start of the program or through an unapproved provider will not be eligible for the driving hours credit.
MORE TRANSPORT NEWS:
Val Dempsey, the senior Australian of the year and ACT senior Australian of the year, commended the ACT on the initiative to promote first-aid courses to learner drivers.
"This initiative through St John Ambulance ACT is supporting learner drivers in developing first aid skills, so they may be prepared to step forward with capabilities, competencies, and knowledge, to save a life in the event of an emergency, particularly in road safety," Ms Dempsey said.
Ms Dempsey has campaigned for governments to offer mandatory first-aid training to all learner drivers in an effort to reduce the road toll.
Ms Dempsey has said previously her daughter was 17 when she went to drive three friends up to Black Mountain Tower.
"It was nine o'clock on a lovely summer's evening," Ms Dempsey said.
"They turned to go up Black Mountain, and a car plowed into them and smashed them into a telegraph pole, rolled them over and utterly destroyed the car. So sadly, a lovely life was lost that day."
Ms Dempsey said while several people tried to help after the accident, none had first aid training and could do little more than wait for an ambulance.
"My daughter, who survived that accident, had said to me later, 'Mum the thing that I remember most, is that when people stepped forward ... they said, I want to help but I don't know what to do'," she said. "I can't imagine how they must have felt in walking away from that moment."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.