14 Oct 2011
Mr Kenyon said the initiatives had the potential to significantly reduce road trauma for young drivers in South Australia.
“These initiatives are not about making life tougher for young drivers. They’re about protecting them and saving lives,” Mr Kenyon said.
“Over the last decade, more than 4000 young people aged between 16 and 24 have been killed or seriously injured on our roads.
“Research shows that crashes are most likely to occur during the first 6 to 12 months of holding a provisional licence when the driver is least experienced and driving unsupervised.
“The initiatives reflect world best practice, are evidence-based and have already been implemented to varying extents in other Australian States and Territories,” Mr Kenyon said.
The initiatives include:
• a passenger restriction for all P1 drivers allowing no more than one passenger under 21 for the duration of their P1 licence (with exemptions for immediate family members or for employment or if a qualified supervising driver is present).
• a restriction on driving between midnight and 5 am for all P1 drivers for the duration of their P1 licence (with exemptions for work-related driving or if a qualified supervising driver is present).
• raising the minimum age for a provisional licence from 17 to 18 years, meaning drivers cannot drive solo until they are at least 18 years of age.
• extending the total minimum provisional licence period from two to three years.
• removing regression to a previous licence stage.
“Raising the minimum driving age will largely eliminate crashes involving 16 and 17 year old drivers, resulting in an estimated reduction of 60-70 fatal and serious injury crashes each year.
“Similarly, we could potentially see between12-17 fewer fatal and serious injuries each year by introducing passenger restrictions for P1 drivers. Night-time driving restrictions could also potentially result in 8-12 less fatal and serious injuries each year.
“As a community, we all have a responsibility to provide greater protection for our young drivers while they are at their most vulnerable stage of driving,” Mr Kenyon said.
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The second stage of a $9 million upgrade of a major rural road connecting the upper Yorke Peninsula towns of Bute and Kulpara will begin in March.