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Protecting P-Platers: New laws start today

Source: Department of Premier & Cabinet

Changes to the Graduated Licensing Scheme (GLS) that help protect South Australia’s young drivers and their passengers have started today.

The main changes are night-time driving and passenger restrictions introduced for P1 licence holders that end when the person progresses to their P2 licence or turns 25, whichever comes first.

Minister for Road Safety, Tony Piccolo said that the first year of driving unsupervised is the riskiest driving period in a person’s life.

“Upon first gaining a P1 licence and beginning to drive unsupervised, the percentage of young drivers involved in crashes rises 11 times,” Mr Piccolo said.

“Inexperience, night-time driving and the presence of peer passengers all contribute to younger drivers having an increased risk of road crashes.”

“The changes find the right balance between keeping our young people safe and providing them the opportunity to participate in educational, volunteering and employment opportunities.”

Between 2009-2013 people aged between 16 and 24 accounted for 22% of fatalities and 24% of serious injuries in South Australia despite being only 12% of the population.

Mr Piccolo emphasised that the new laws were about protecting younger drivers’ lives, the lives of others on our roads and making sure they get home safely.

“My message to the community is: these new rules are aimed at making sure families will not have to deal with the tragic loss of a son or daughter on our roads,” he said.

“There is also the lasting impact on young people who suffer serious injuries that they have to live with for the rest of their lives.

“If the passenger and night-time driving restrictions had been in place in South Australia since 2008, we could have potentially avoided 23 fatalities, 256 serious injuries and 1553 minor injuries on our roads.”

Details on the new rules, including other GLS changes and the exemption criteria, are available at the MyLicence website (www.mylicence.sa.gov.au) or by calling Service SA on 13 10 84.

 

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