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Plan for P-plate curfew

Posted by ROADwhyz on October 19, 2011 at 6:55 PM

 

BY MICHELLE HARRIS

20 Oct, 2011 06:36 AM

NOVICE P-plate drivers would be forced off the road overnight on Friday and Saturday under a plan to crack down on road fatalities that the state government will investigate.

NSW Auditor-General Peter Achterstraat has advised the government to consider a curfew for P1 provisional licence holders from 11pm until 5am on the two evenings.

It is among recommendations for improving safety for young drivers.

In a report released yesterday, Mr Achterstraat found fatal crashes involving young drivers had halved in the past decade, coinciding with an enhanced graduated licensing system.

But the better results were in metropolitan areas, including Newcastle, compared with rural and regional NSW.

Young drivers were still over-represented in statistics, making up 25 per cent of fatal crashes, but only 16 per cent of licensed drivers.

High-risk behaviour was mostly to blame.

In 2010, the Hunter accounted for 15.4 per cent of the total 11,015 recorded crashes involving P-plate drivers in NSW.

Only this month, three teenagers died after a long-weekend two-car crash at Campvale.

The curfew is similar to one former roads minister Carl Scully proposed in 2004 prohibiting drivers under 21 from being on the road between 10pm and 6am.

The government dumped the proposal amid a backlash the measure would disadvantage shift workers.

Mr Achterstraat recommended more support be provided to learner drivers from low socio-economic backgrounds and remote areas, and that P1 drivers be limited to carrying one passenger at any time.

Michelle Davis, who lost her two teenage sons in a car crash at Morpeth in 2005, said better education for young drivers was needed, rather than a curfew that would be hard to police in rural areas.

Mrs Davis is behind the Roadwhyz campaign that tells students about the consequences of crashes.

Roads Minister Duncan Gay said the RTA was implementing several of the recommendations and would investigate the rest.

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