South Australian Parliament has recently passed new laws in relation to young drivers. The laws will come into effect in 2014 (date to be confirmed) and will toughen the restrictions on provisional licence holders.
Statistics from the "My Licence" website state that:
"Our young people make up five percent of our population, but accounted for 12 percent of fatalities and serious injuries from 2008-2012. Statistics from the Australian Road Deaths Database show that South Australia has the second worst fatality rate for 16-19 year old age group of all Australian states and territories. Research shows that crashes are more likely to occur during the first 6 to 12 months of holding a provisional licence when the driver is least experienced and driving unsupervised."
So the new laws are aimed at imposing further constraints on young drivers to prevent against tragedies.
Some of the changes are:
- Curfew: P1 licence holders will be banned from driving between midnight and 5.00 am unless they are granted an ex,emption or are 25 and over or a qualified supervising driver is present in the vehicle. A qualified supervising driver is someone who has held a full driver's licence for at least two years continuously without disqualification.
An exemption is in the form of a letter issued by their employer, volunteer or religious organisation, education institutions or sports associations, or other supporting evidence, to show police if they are pulled over.
- Passenger restriction: P1 drivers under 25 will be allowed to transport only one passenger between 16 and 20 years of age, excluding immediate family, for the duration of their P1 licence, unless they are required to in relation to their employment.
- Time on Provisional licence: the minimum provisional licence period is increased from two years to three. This will mean only one year on a P1 licence and two years on a P2 licence.
- Licence holders will no longer regress to a previous licence stage after a disqualification period.
- The hazard perception test will be a requirement of graduation from learner's to P1, rather than P1 to P2. The hazard perception test is a computer test that shows film clips of real life driving situations that you need to respond to by clicking a mouse.
- The minimum age to obtain a full licence will be increased from 19 years to 20.
These are important and significant changes to rights and entitlements for new drivers and it's important that you inform yourself of your obligations on the road.