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Ford Australia has announced its 2016 Driving Skills for Life program, aimed at helping young people becoming safer drivers on the road.

This year’s program – which was first established in 2003 – will be delivered in partnership with the Australian Council of State School Organisations (ACSSO) to Melbourne, Geelong, Canberra and Sydney.

Ford plans to reach around 1000 young drivers over the course of the initiative.

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The 2016 program is publicly available for the first time, which the company says is part of its ongoing investment into Australian research and development.

Billy Brownless, ex-Geelong Cats AFL star and father of four, has signed as the official spokesperson for the program.

“Having now taught three of my kids to drive, I know first-hand the important role that parents and guardians play in the process of learning to drive,” he said.

“I am honoured to be involved with the Ford Driving Skills for Life program as the skills training they are bringing to young Australians will help decrease the number of road deaths in Australia.”

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More young males are killed on the road than any other cause, with traffic crashes also representing the second-highest cause of death among people aged 15-24.

Australian drivers aged between 17-25 represent 18.8 per cent of all road deaths despite making up 11.8 per cent of the country’s driving population.

Ford’s research has identified four key areas – hazard recognition, vehicle handling, distracted and impaired driving, along with space and speed management – where young drivers lack skills and education.

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Graeme Whickman, CEO of Ford Australia, said: “Young drivers are among the riskiest on the road and Ford has invested significantly all over the world, including Australia, to do our part to reduce road fatalities”.

“The Driving Skills for Life program taps the global Ford leadership in young driver training and we’re excited to expand the program this year to reach even more young Australians.”

Ford’s Driving Skills for Life programs will first come to Melbourne on 11-13 of November, then Geelong between 25-27 November, before heading to Canberra on 2-4 December and finally making it to Sydney from 9-11 December.

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While being a ticketed event, the program will be funded by Ford Australia.

For more information on the Ford Driving Skills for Life Programs click here.

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