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Bank backs young drivers

Bank backs young drivers
ABOVE: A happy group outside the Bendigo Bank branch at Beechworth with the town's very own L2P learner driver vehicle.

Indigo Shire Council has been a supporter of the L2P Learner Driver Mentor Program for many years.

Young people can learn to drive with a mentor through the community-based program and now, thanks to the Beechworth Bendigo Bank, Beechworth has its own car.

The bank handed the keys of a Suzuki Swift to Indigo Mayor Cr Jenny O'Connor on Monday.

Cr O'Connor said that the L2P program runs successfully in Rutherglen and Tangambalanga using community cars, but the program has never reached its full potential in Beechworth due to the lack of a dedicated vehicle.

"The donation of this car by the Beechworth Bendigo Community Bank is very generous -- on behalf of Council I am so pleased to be able to accept the keys to this car. I thank the community bank for supporting our young people in this way," she said.

The Chair of the Beechworth bank board of directors, Darren Carr, said the rationale behind the bank's donation was simple.

"Young people are our future and we felt that this program was a fantastic way to help teach safe driving skills and road safety to young people who don't have access to a vehicle," he said.

"This is a great program that community members are part of and we are delighted to support it."

The L2P program, established by the Transport Accident Commission and managed by VicRoads, helps young learner drivers, who can't access a car or a supervising driver, to gain the driving experience needed to apply for their probationary licence.

Cr O'Connor said the benefits of the program went beyond learning how to drive. "The partnerships formed between the young drivers and their mentors are beneficial in many ways, not just the driving skills," she said.