Young Drivers and the Law

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Young drivers aged 17-24 years of age are twice as likely to be involved in fatal crashes than drivers aged between 25-59 years of age.

Young driver’s high involvement in road crashes and accidents is often attributed to a lack of driving skills and ability to concentrate on the road.

Law reforms have been implemented across Australia by the NSW RTA through delegated legislation and entails that: * Learner drivers must be over 16 years of age and must gain 120 hours of certified supervised driving experience that’s recorded in a learner log book before being eligible to apply for a provisional licence. * Mobile phone use, including hands-free, blue-tooth accessories and loud speaker functions, has been restricted for learner and P1 provisional licence holders under 25 years of age. * The provisional driver stage has been categorised into two different sections: P1 and P2 provisional licences. * L-plates and P-plates must be shown while driving.

* Peer passenger restrictions were introduces – P1 provisional licence holders under 25 years of age can only carry one passenger aged under 21 years between 11pm and 5am. * High powered vehicles are restricted for provisional drivers under 25 years of age. * Drivers must pass a hazard perception test to progress from a P1 to a P2 or open licence (dependant on age). * Restrictions have been introduced such as no late night driving for disqualified or suspended young drivers.

Legal Responses

Initiatives such as random breath testing and compulsory seatbelts were a breakthrough in reforms that resulted in dramatic reductions in road deaths and injuries. Other Government initiatives involved safer vehicles, better roads and ongoing community education about road safety have also contributed to improvements. Recent initiatives for young drivers include the introduction of a ban on P plate license holders driving high performance vehicles and a passenger restriction for P1 and P2 drivers who...
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