Teen sees merit in lower age
KLODI Ward i s a l ocal teenager who has to travel 40 kilometres from her home near Benalla t o attend work and school in Mansfield.
“I rely on my family to take me everywhere,” she explained.
“I’m very lucky that they think it’s important that I work, so are happy to do the driving for me – but it would make life so much easier if I were able to drive myself.” Klodi turns 17 this May. Despite the allure of an earlier independent driving age, she did tell the Mansfield Courier she thought any 17-year-old driver should still be made to sit the 120 hours driving on L plates, plus complete a mandatory defensive driving test.
“I think driving at 17, particularly for kids in regional areas, would be a great advantage,” she explained.
“For t eenagers, i t makes sense that you can’t drink and drive, legally, on the same day – being able to get your license at 17 would give us twelve months on the road first, but there should be some conditions.
“Every driver should still have to do their 120 hours, I think, and an extra course would be good too – on how to react safely.”
THE RACV is among several bodies which have endorsed the government’s rejection of lowering the probarionary driving age from 18 to 17 in Victoria.
RACV general manager of public policy, Brian Negus, said the licensing age should be based on evidence that puts the safety of all Victorians first.
“RACV does support the State Government creating incentives, for example a discount on registration, to get more young people into safer five-star cars,” Mr Negus said.
“Furthermore, an RACV survey of young people found that while a lack of transport affected their social trips, only a few said it impacted their ability to get employment.
“If transport is considered to be a problem, then governments need to provide better transport options in regional areas and improve timetable coordination between different modes of transport to meet the needs of young people.”
NO CHANGE: When you see this P plate in Victoria you will know the driver is at least 18 years of age.