Driving instructors

Mandurah Driver’s Program Helps Local Youth Get Licenses

Lakelands resident Chei-Lani Bialobrodzki recently completed enough hours of practice riding through the RYDE program to earn her P-Plates. PIC: provided

Like many young people her age, for Lakelands resident Chei-Lani Bialobrodzki, getting her driver’s license meant more opportunities for freedom and independence.

Thanks to the Mandurah RYDE (Regional Youth Driver Education) program, supported by the city of Mandurah, 23-year-old Chei-Lani recently completed enough hours of training to earn her P-Plates.

Mandurah’s RYDE program helps young learner drivers aged 16 to 25 get their driver’s license, pairing students with volunteer driving mentors from the Peel Volunteer Resource Centre.

Chei-Lani started the driver mentoring course in Bassendean, then moved to Mandurah and continued her lessons, becoming one of the first participants to move from one learning location to another.

For two years, she met with a driving mentor about once a week, including evening classes, to achieve the 50 hours of supervised driving needed to get her license.

“The people I met through the RYDE program were lovely and I would recommend the program to friends after my experience,” Chei-Lani said.

“I now have the freedom to go out whenever I want and drive to work, but with that also comes the responsibilities of owning a car. The program saved me money on driving lessons, and I don’t think I would have gotten my license without it.

The city of Mandurah was one of the first local governments in the state to offer RYDE after the city of Bassendean designed the program.

It is designed to help young people who may face barriers in learning to drive, including those who do not have access to a vehicle or an adult who can supervise driving.

“The RYDE program removes the major barriers that prevent young people from obtaining their driver’s license, which is so essential for future training, employment and generally to enjoy the independence of this next phase of life”, said Mayor Rhys Williams.

“I am truly proud of the success of the RYDE program in Mandurah, and very grateful to the volunteers and supporters for providing this opportunity to those in need.”

Young people who already have their learner’s license can register for the program for $15 for a 90min session.

Reservations can be made by ryde.org.au/mandurah-ryde or by emailing [email protected]

So far, nearly 250 young drivers have used the Mandurah RYDE program, which offers manual and automatic vehicles.

The program is a collaboration between the City of Mandurah, the Peel Volunteer Resource Center and a wide range of local service providers including Employment Services Group, Calvary Youth Service, Choyces, Streetnet and JSW Training and Community Services.