Young Drivers And The Law
Chloe Hayward

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“Statistics show that South Australia has the second worst fatality rate for the 16 to 19 year old age group of all Australian States and Territories, it is also almost double that of Victoria and new South Wales.” Changes to the provisional 1 licence system were first proposed in October in 2012. At the time it was made open to the public’s opinion and consultation. The new and improved laws were suggested by road minister Michael O’Brian. The current laws for young provisional 1 driver on the road are clear and appropriate as they address the main issues our young drivers face on a day to day basis. If a person currently has their P’s (provisional licence) you are bound by the motor accident commissioner and the government of South Australia to abide by the current P-plate rules and regulations. Failer to do so could subsequently consequent in fines, loss of demerit points or even a loss of your licence.

The current laws clearly state that L provisional drivers are not permitted to drive or be in any sort of control of a motor vehicle with any concentration of alcohol within your blood system, all young drivers must display their P-plates at all times and make sure they are clearly visible, no young provisional driver is permitted to exceed a speed limit of 100km p/h at all times, no mobile device is allowed to be used at any point in time whilst being in control of a motor vehicle and lastly all provisional drivers are not permitted to drive any sort of high powered vehicle with the exception of have an exemption letter.

The new laws that must be headed involve a night curfew (no driving between 12am and 5am) and a passenger limit which includes not driver with more than one passenger that is between the ages of 16 and 21 unless they are your immediate family. At the current stage, the new provisional 1 law are in the second stage of parliament, ‘the first reading’. There is an

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extreme broad difference in opinion on the topic of the new rules and regulations for provisional 1 drivers. Some will argue that the new laws need to be brought in due to young drivers safety and the safety of others on the road, whilst others argue that the laws won’t change anything and that they are a waste of government funds due to the disadvantages it will have on a lot of people and the feeling that more people will start drink driving and create even more danger than there currently is now.

Being not allowed to carry more than one passenger between the ages of 16 and 21 doesn’t come with a huge inconvenience but more or less it will defiantly create a certain level of danger. These days’ young people like to go out and party. 98% of young mature beings will organise a designated driver. This person would still go out and party with everyone but would stay sober for the whole night, so they would have the ability to drive everyone home. If the passenger restriction law was put in place, more people would result to drink driving because they wouldn’t be able to designate someone to safely drive them home due to not being able to carry more than on passenger between the ages of 16 and 21. Whilst more people are resulting to drink driving it will then create havoc on our roads and cause a lot more accidents than there currently are now.

A huge advantage of the new provisional 1 laws is that the P-plate system will last for 3 years instead of the current 2. This will advantage young drivers as it will enable them to gain more experience on our roads. By extending the time that people need to be driving on their Ps it will give them more of an insight as to what our roads can be like.

The main reasons that triggered the south Australian government to bring in these new laws were the lack of experience and maturity of young driver today. By having compulsory driving lessons throughout the time of having one’s provisional licence will enable driving instructors to check up on the young drivers driving skills from time to time and make sure the driver is doing the right thing.

Also compulsory defensive driving lessons would also help as it teachers the driver how to control their car in certain situations and what to do if an accident or dangerous situation was to arise. The new provisional 1 laws that are currently in the second reading in parliament do have the potential to have a positive impact on today’s society and what happens on our roads. The reason for so many P-plate related accidents every year is not a fact of driving late at night or carrying to many passengers; it is a fact of in-experience and lack of knowledge.

The passenger limit will remove the distraction of other people inside the car, but if the driver themselves were experienced enough and had the right knowledge they would be able to cope and deal with all situations, distracting or not. Through individual research conducted by surveys, it has been discovered that a number of people do not agree that the new laws will target the right thing and that they won’t have any effect on our young drivers. (surveys are attached) young drivers simply do not have the experience they should on our roads, however it can be fixed and maintained by laws that will target the right things, not the proposed laws that are in parliament now.

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