P-plates not li­cence to let go

PAR­ENTS URGED TO KEEP SU­PER­VIS­ING NEW DRIV­ERS

Melville Times - - News -

A ROAD safety ex­pert has called on par­ents to con­tinue su­per­vis­ing their chil­dren, even after they earn their pro­vi­sional li­cence.

Bri­die Scott-Parker, lead at the Univer­sity of the Sun­shine Coast’s Ado­les­cent Risk Re­search Unit, said young driv­ers would ben­e­fit greatly from hav­ing an ex­pe­ri­enced per­son in the ve­hi­cle with them, even after they are able to drive solo.

“After their child gets their pro­vi­sional li­cence, par­ents will of­ten turn around and say ‘thank God I don’t have to do any­thing like that again’,” she said.

“But re­main­ing in the car means there’s an ex­tra set of eyes while they build ex­pe­ri­ence.

“What we’ve found is that the best way to min­imise the crash risk is for par­ents to con­tinue to be in­volved.”

Dr Scott-Parker, who de­liv­ered a safe driv­ing sem­i­nar at Palmyra Pri­mary School on Sun­day, said par­ents could also im­ple­ment a priv­i­lege sys­tem which re­stricts new mo­torists from driv­ing at night or with friends.

“You in­crease their priv­i­leges grad­u­ally,” she said.

“Young driv­ers of­ten go from be­ing 100 per cent su­per­vised to 100 per cent un­su­per­vised.

“That wouldn’t work in a work­place and I don’t think it works on the roads.”

In a move to pro­duce safer mo­torists, the State Gov­ern­ment yes­ter­day dou­bled to 50 the num­ber of hours that need to be clocked up by learner driv­ers.

Learn­ers now need to com­plete both the haz­ard per­cep­tion test and 50 hours of su­per­vised driv­ing be­fore qual­i­fy­ing to take the prac­ti­cal driv­ing as­sess­ment (PDA) to earn their driver’s li­cence.

The 50-hour log­book also needs to in­clude five hours of su­per­vised night-time driv­ing.

When the changes were an­nounced in June, Trans­port Min­is­ter Rita Saf­fi­oti said the new pro­gram would re­duce the com­plex­ity of the pro­vi­sional li­cence process and align WA with other states.

“The State Gov­ern­ment has lis­tened to in­dus­try and com­mu­nity feed­back about the pro­vi­sional li­cence process and we will en­sure ap­pli­cants have greater driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and cog­ni­tive ma­tu­rity when at­tempt­ing their driv­ing tests,” she said.

Nearly 200 peo­ple died on WA roads in 2016, with one in four peo­ple killed in the 20-29 age cat­e­gory.

About 14 per cent of peo­ple killed were 19 years old or younger.

Dr Bri­die Scott-Parker.

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