Understanding the protective role of the Graduated Licensing System – A Student Activity

It is important that learner and novice drivers understand and accept the responsibilities that come with getting a licence, particularly following the novice driver road rules and being socially responsible road users – looking after friends and others on the road. The RYDA program sets out to take students on a journey from identifying risks, understanding them on a personal level, building strategies to mitigate those risks and, importantly creating motivation to implement the strategies and follow the road rules.

A key outcome of RYDA’s Road Choices session is for students to appreciate the road safety role of the Graduated Licensing System – GLS and the Police in protecting the community. The session sits against the backdrop of the priority road safety policing areas; speed, distraction, impairment (alcohol, drugs & fatigue) and seatbelts. Students learn why they are vulnerable, how they can protect themselves and learn more about the legal and financial consequences of poor choices on the road. The presentation of tangible consequences such as fines and demerits has proven to be a good agent for behaviour change.

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GLS Activity

To boost the learnings of the Road Choices session back in the classroom, or even to prepare students before their RYDA workshop, we’ve created an activity which sees students work in five role-play groups to design their own GLS – 10 rules for young solo drivers, undertaking the exercise from the perspective of five different sectors of the community:

• Group 1 – P-plate/Restricted drivers;
• Group 2 – Parents;
• Group 3 – Traffic Police
• Group 4 – First responders – ambulance, emergency room medical staff and crash investigators
• Group 5 – Driving instructors.

Young people often feel unfairly targeted with strict GLS restrictions and a perception of increased attention from traffic police.  By looking at the GLS from different perspectives they are in a better position to understand why they have more rules/restrictions and see them for their protective qualities.

Assigning the Student Activity

STEP 1 – ROLE-PLAY:  Assign the groups and remind students to adjust their thinking and role-play within their group.

STEP 2 – SET THE SCENE: In this scenario, the government has called for the creation of a set of road rules, specifically targeted to address the over-representation of serious crashes involving young drivers and their passengers.  Each of our sectors of the community have been asked to identify the main issues and submit 10 rules for presentation and consideration at a town hall meeting.

STEP 3 – GROUP WORK: Download the student activity form and give the groups 10-15 minutes to discuss the issues and complete the questions on the activity.  Ask the groups to nominate a representative for the panel.

STEP 4 – HOLDING THE TOWN-HALL: Hold the town-hall meeting with you, the teacher, as the moderator.  Ask the students to put their ideas in order of importance and role play with one representative from each group forming the panel, making recommendations to a government committee.  If the panel responses fall flat, ask probing questions of the student audience – eg, why have they got different opinions?; how strict should restrictions be?; what other things could make young drivers safe?  Open the floor for discussion and questions from the student audience, who should remain in role-play mode, representing the perspective of their assigned group as they challenge/seek clarification from the panel.  Record the rules that meet a general consensus from all groups on a white board.

STEP 5 – CONCLUSION: Review the rules on the whiteboard with the class.  Talk about the rules that are already part of law and those that can be adopted voluntarily.  With the whole class now back viewing the rules from the perspective of novice drivers and passengers, discuss barriers to following the rules and strategies for overcoming the barriers.

It will help you moderate the town hall meeting if you have an understanding of the restrictions and rules for novice drivers impacting your students.  For further information, select your jurisdiction below.


New Zealand

RYDA workshop tie-in

The assignment works well as pre-workshop preparation or post workshop extended study.  Let your RYDA Program Coordinator know if your students complete the assignment before the workshop and they’ll work with our facilitators to tie in your students’ findings, further personalising the learning at the workshop.