Attitudes to Night-time Driving and Passenger Restrictions for P-Plate Drivers in NSW and the ACT
Friday 16 July 2004
Special restrictions on night-time driving and carrying of passengers apply to new, young drivers in New Zealand and many states in the US, as part of a graduated licensing scheme.
A preliminary survey was conducted in order to gauge public acceptance of restrictions in NSW, based on current restrictions in New Zealand.
The telephone survey covered a sample of 399 licensed drivers aged 17 years and over, residing in NSW and the ACT. Respondents were randomly selected from within a household to take part in the survey. The survey was conducted during July 2004.
Two proposals were presented to respondents. For the sake of clarity within a telephone survey method, the description of the proposed laws did not encompass all details of the types of restrictions in place in other jurisdictions.
- Teenage P-plate drivers are not allowed to drive at night between 10pm and 5am, unless they are supervised by a fully-licensed driver over the age of 20.
- Teenage P-plate drivers are not allowed to have other teenagers as passengers at any time, unless they are supervised by a fully-licensed driver over the age of 20.
The attitude to the proposals were measured on a 5 point agree/disagree scale
Results were weighted to reflect an approximate distribution of drivers, based on location, age, gender and education.
About half of drivers agreed with each of the proposals, including a third ‘strongly’ agreeing:
- 53% agreeing with the night time restrictions, and
- 54% agreeing with the passenger restrictions.
Females tended to be somewhat more positive than males, although the differences were not very large:
- 58% of females agreeing to the night time restrictions compared with 48% of males, and
- 61% agreeing with the passenger restrictions compared with 47% of males.
Younger drivers, in particular aged under 25, were the most negative to the proposals – only a third of this group agreed to each of the proposals. The trend is clear despite the small sample sizes in the younger age groups. As might be expected, the small group of teenage drivers, to whom the restrictions would directly apply, were the most negative.
Interestingly, there was a trend for drivers aged 40-49 years also to be slightly more negative than other drivers aged 30 years and over. This group would contain a relatively high proportion of parents with teenagers. The trend suggests that parents of teenagers are, on average, less likely to consider that their children require additional restrictions; and that their children are capable of driving safely.
(Please note that where percentages are added, there may be a rounding error of ±1)