With Australia’s road toll rising for the second year in a row, St John Ambulance will provide a no-cost first aid training course to all motorists – while ACT learner drivers will be given a discount towards their mandatory driving hours.


Australian drivers will be able to access a free online first aid course as a part of a new campaign aimed at reducing the nation’s road toll. 

While the free 30-minute online course is aimed at young motorists, St John Ambulance CEO Brendan Maher says the program will be available to all Australian drivers.

“This course is accessible to anyone in Australia at no cost,” Mr Maher said in a media statement. “The first aid skills taught are based on our DRSABCD (Danger, Response, Send for help, Airway, Breathing, CPR, Defibrillation) model, which is applicable to everyone. 



“It is however targeted at learner drivers and young people, who we know can be at increased risk of motor vehicle accidents. We want to equip an entire generation of drivers with the confidence and skills for basic interventions that can be lifesaving.”

In response to the Australian road toll rising for a second year in a row, St John Ambulance announced the Learner Driver First Aid Campaign – targeted at providing learner licence holders with basic first aid training before they can drive alone.



“We aim to make this course accessible now and into the future to reach as many young Australians as possible. We hope to get governments, road safety organisations and communities behind promoting it.”

The organisation’s Western Australian branch has previously run a similar free program, resulting in more than 145,000 people receiving basic first aid training.

While Australia’s road toll is significantly less than the 1970 peak of 3798 reported deaths, there have not been less than 1000 fatalities since 1934.



Between September 2021 and September 2022, 1172 road users died in Australia – 41 more people than the year prior, a 4 per cent increase.

In addition to its free online course, St John Ambulance is also campaigning for first aid training to become mandatory before drivers can receive their learner licence.



The proposal has already received support from the Australian Capital Territory Government, which today announced it will offer learner drivers a five-hour reduction to their 100 hours of mandatory supervised driving if they complete the course.

ACT Minister for Transport Chris Steel said the government would also provide funding towards an evaluation of the course as a prerequisite for pre-learner drivers.

“The ACT Government will be providing funding to Queensland University of Technology to undertake a formal evaluation of the course, under the ACT Road Safety Fund,” said Mr Steel. 



“The evaluation will also explore potential for the first aid course’s expansion across Australia and whether the training should be mandatory to complete for all learner drivers.”

St John Ambulance recommends all drivers should carry a first aid kit in their car, allowing them to provide assistance if necessary.

“A small or motoring first aid kit is a good place to start. These are compact and can tuck into a glove box or somewhere else accessible,” Mr Maher said.

“They have items such as bandages, dressings, swabs, personal protective equipment such as gloves, cleaning wipes or irrigation such as saline solution, scissors, and a basic First Aid Quick Reference Guide.”

St John Ambulance’s one-day, in-person first aid courses are normally priced from $169, while its CPR courses cost $69.



Jordan Mulach

Jordan Mulach is Canberra/Ngunnawal born, currently residing in Brisbane/Turrbal. Joining the Drive team in 2022, Jordan has previously worked for Auto Action, MotorsportM8, The Supercars Collective and TouringCarTimes, WhichCar, Wheels, Motor and Street Machine. Jordan is a self-described iRacing addict and can be found on weekends either behind the wheel of his Octavia RS or swearing at his ZH Fairlane.

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