Ed Mulligan is sick to death of young P-plate drivers adding to the nation’s road toll, and has decided to do something about it.

Frustrated with empty promises by governments and local authorities, the ex-rally driver who is well known for his antics both on and off the rally roads, Mulligan has taken the first step in involving the young drivers of the Lismore (NSW) area in a comprehensive driver training program entitled “Survive Your Drive.”

Response to the program has already been encouraging, both from local businesses who have supported the campaign by offering office space, office equipment and vehicles from local car dealers, and from parents of teenagers who are concerned for their children’s welfare.

The local Lions Club are also getting involved and are planning to assist the Survive Your Drive campaign by helping out with catering and promotional activities. The program involves a free road safety seminar, followed by a hands-on driving course.

Mulligan, famous for his Opposite Lock business in past years and who has been a keen rally competitor for three decades in a wide range of vehicles that include BDA Escorts, Holden Commodores and Toyotas, answered to the name “hooligan” in his wilder days, but now sees such anti-social antics as being unhelpful in the current road safety climate.

“The long-term goal is to take it (the program) to national level through Lions and other organizations, in similar fashion to the Clean Up Australia effort. We are not looking for government support yet as the program is too urgent and they can’t move quickly enough,” Mulligan says.

“Our aim is to save lives and start changing young drivers’ attitudes and parental advice before any more multiple fatal accidents involving young drivers occur,” he said.

Also involved in the program are two other well-known rally drivers, Greg Carr and Rod Browning, who have come on board to assist with driver training.

His tips for safe driving for young P-plate drivers?

1. Be proactive – avoid high-powered rear wheel drive cars;

2. Select a low-powered front wheel drive or all-wheel drive car;

3. Do weekly checks of tyre pressures, oil levels, tyre tread depth, blinkers and lights;

4. Check brakes, steering and suspension regularly; and

5. Learn to drive in a grassy paddock or in a farm environment if at all possible, before setting off onto public roads.

Further information can be obtained by phoning (02) 6622 3755 during business hours.

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