Media Release – 28 July 2011

The NRMA Safer Driving School Canberra and Queanbeyan is the first Canberra driving school to encourage ‘Green Teens’ through its use of hybrid technology.

“Regardless of your individual views on a carbon tax, the fact remains that we need to do what we can to be more environmentally friendly,” said Tony Commisso, the NRMA Safer Driving School Canberra and Queanbeyan franchisee.

“What better way to move environmental friendliness into the forefront of today’s young minds than by having learners experience their first driving lessons in a hybrid vehicle.

“Teaching students in eco-conscious vehicles gives them a chance to have a hybrid experience they may not otherwise get to encounter,” he said.

The school has been piloting the use of hybrid vehicles since early 2011 with good results to date. By using hybrid vehicles in the driving school, which average around 5000 to 7000 kilometres per month, they have been able to cut their carbon footprint by more than 40% as the hybrids emit far lower levels of pollutants in the air than conventional cars. The school is the first and only Canberra driving school to use this technology.

“Simply using hybrid vehicles can reduce our environmental influence by tens of thousands of kilometres each year. It’s because of this that we expect to move all our cars to hybrids over the next two years,” Mr Commisso continued.

Encouraging ‘Green Teens’ is easy with the hybrid technology as the learners can clearly see how well they’re driving in terms of fuel efficiency, and can learn to employ driving techniques that use less fuel into the future. Part of any driving school training curriculum involves sizeable portions of the lessons spent parked curb side talking about crucial driving concepts. While a hybrid car idles, the petrol motor shuts off by design thus no petrol is being wasted.

Tony sees the greening of his fleet as a positive step towards educating the general population in the benefits hybrid technology. After talking to students and parents he has discovered that some have decided to purchase a hybrid vehicle after taking driver training with the school.

“Importantly a move towards greener vehicles is also backed by the ACT Government’s Green Vehicles Stamp Duty Scheme which sets differential stamp duty costs for new light vehicles to provide an incentive for the purchase of low emission vehicles and a disincentive against the purchase of vehicles with poor environmental performance,” Tony concluded.

For more information on the school’s use of hybrid technology or to book a driving lesson visit www.nrma.drivingschoolservices.com.au

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