Mosman Daily Thursday 22 July 2004

 

Not so fast on P-plate changes

THE NRMA says more research is needed before a curfew and passen­ger restrictions on learner and P-plate drivers can be considered.

Road safety specialist Anne Morphett said drivers aged between 17 and 25 were "over represented" in crashes but more research was needed.

"Looking at these statistics it is obvious all possible solutions should be investigated," Ms Morphett said.

"The NRMA wants to ensure any investigation into driver restric­tions consider employment and edu­cation exemptions, particularly for youth in regional NSW."

A compulsory defensive driving course, a night curfew and a restric­tion on the number of passengers allowed for P-plate drivers are among suggested changes by road safety groups for inexperienced drivers.

The calls come after Cremorne teenager Jade Graham was killed in an accident involving a P-plate driver (MD, July 8).

Changing legislation was the way to reduce the number of crashes involving young drivers, said Ped­estrian Council of Australia chair­man and Mosman resident Harold Scruby.

Mr Scruby said new measures were needed because there had been no decline in the number of deaths on NSW roads over the past five years, particularly among P-plate drivers and their passengers.

"Existing restrictions for young drivers have not worked.  The lethal cocktail of youth, inexperience and peer-group pressure and night-time driving will see more and more avoidable young deaths on our roads."

Mr Scruby said imposing night-time curfews on all P-plate and L-plate drivers was the answer.

The National Motorists Associ­ation of Australia said road acci­dents accounted for one in three deaths among Australians aged be­tween 15 and 24.

"We are proposing a compulsory defensive driver training course for inexperienced drivers," a spokes­man said.

The Roads and Traffic Authority said it was happy to take a look at the idea of curfews and any other proposals that might help reduce the number of crashes.

"NSW already has one of the most stringent licensing regimes in Australia," an authority spokeswoman said.

Meanwhile, police said investi­gations were continuing into Ms Graham's death.

 

"No charges have been laid," a spokeswoman said.