Home' Open Road North Shore : OR0318 Contents Maria is a mum of three and had trouble getting her children
to a doctor’s appointment when they were sick. But thanks
to NRMA Members and Australian Red Cross, she and other
young Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders now have the
support needed for driving lessons to earn their P1 licence.
“I’m a single mother; I’ve got three kids,” Maria says.
“It was really expensive getting the kids to school, and to
the doctor when they were sick.”
In partnership with Australian Red Cross, the Learner
Driver Mentor Program matched Maria to a volunteer
mentor who, over three months, helped her get her licence.
She’s now keen to utilise her new driving skills whenever she
can. “It’s the best thing that ever happened. I told my kids
and they were so excited.”
While Maria will better be able to care for her young
family, others in the program will be able to get their licence
to pursue study, training and employment opportunities that
they wouldn’t have had access to without a licence.
Australian Red Cross regional manager John Pocius says
many young Indigenous people in his community of Wagga
Wagga had no family support to learn to drive and found the
cost of getting a licence too high. With the Learner Driver
Mentor Program they now have the practical and emotional
support needed to succeed.
How a driver licence can change lives...
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M-18-0750 Open road.indd 1
2/02/2018 3:54:13 PM
WAITING TIMES for people broken
down and requiring a tow will now be
slashed by almost one hour with the
NRMA rolling out new patrol vans that
can also tow a vehicle, helping to reduce
congestion and getting people back on
the road faster.
The announcement coincides with new
research showing that of the 1.2 million
breakdowns the NRMA tended to in 2017,
one in four was a vehicle aged 11 years
or more and one in five vehicles was aged
10 years or younger. Collectively, the
average age of the Australian light
vehicle fleet is 10 years.
Historically, an NRMA Patrol would
attend to broken-down motorists and,
in 93 per cent of cases, fix the vehicle on
the roadside. The remaining seven per
cent, however, would need to wait for a
To address this, the NRMA has invested
in 100 Mercedes-Benz vans that enable it
to get to Members, replace batteries or
tow the vehicle if necessary. These vans
can tow up to 80 per cent of popular
vehicles on the road and will be rolled out
between now and the end of financial year.
The current fleet of vans is already saving
Members up to 51 minutes’ waiting time.
NRMA General Manager Roadside
Operations, Mel Kansil, says investment in
this technology will keep Sydney moving
by reducing the impact breakdowns can
have on traffic congestion.
“ Keeping people moving is at the
heart of the NRMA strategy. We’ve been
focusing on how we can use technology
to significantly reduce the amount of
time people spend on the side of the road
when they’ve broken down and need a
tow,” Ms Kansil says.
“ While car technology is improving,
people still break down for all the same
reasons. Last year 1.2 million broken-
down cars were fixed by the NRMA, with
batteries, tyres, lockouts and engine or
alternator issues the main reasons.”
Ms Kansil says regardless of how
technology advances, it’s clear from
these statistics there will always be a
need for roadside assistance.
“ With the average age of vehicles
registered in Australia 10 years or older,
we know people are keeping cars for
longer and will need the kind of service
the NRMA offers more than ever.”
Top reasons for breakdowns in vehicles aged one to 30 years
Fast-thinking ferry crew saves distressed seaborn
New vans ready to tow
The latest NRMA roadside assistance vehicles can do it all
9/2/18 4:34 pm
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