Young Drivers Safer With Graduated Licensing

Victoria’s Graduated Licensing System is reducing the risk of crashes for young drivers and saving lives, according to an independent review.

Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan today released the study that found drivers who had been through the new system are 20 per cent less likely to have a serious crash in their first two years on the road.

The VicRoads commissioned report shows drivers that have had to log a minimum of 120 hours of supervised learner driving experience and complete a two-stage probationary licence process, have lower crash rates and exhibit better driving behaviours than drivers that got their licence under the old system.

The most high-risk crash group – P-Platers in their first year of driving – are 19 per cent less likely to be involved in a fatal or serious crash under the Graduated Licensing System.

For P1 licence holders, the ban on carrying more than one passenger aged 16-22 has also been highly effective – with involvement in crashes while carrying two or more peer passengers down 70 per cent.

Learner drivers are spending more time on their L plates giving them more opportunity to get valuable practice, with 60 per cent of 18-20 year olds holding a learner permit for at least 24 months compared with 37 per cent before the Graduated Licensing System was introduced.

Overall, the evaluation found Victoria’s Graduated Licensing System has been successful in improving young driver safety, but that further work was required to reduce the crash rates of older novice drivers aged 21 to 23.

In a worrying trend, the report also found an increase in speed and mobile phone use offences among probationary drivers.

The Andrews Labor Government has invested more than $146 million to help young people become safer drivers through training programs like Road Smart, L2P and the Free Licence Scheme.

Further improvements to the system are also on the way. From November 1, learner drivers will have to complete 20 hours of supervised night driving instead of 10.

The total number of supervised driving hours required will remain unchanged at 120.

The Victorian Graduated Licensing System evaluation summary report can be accessed on the VicRoads website at vicroads.vic.gov.au

Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan

“This independent evaluation shows that the Graduated Licensing System is working – saving lives and reducing the number of serious injury collisions for our youngest and most inexperienced drivers.”

“While these results are a ringing endorsement for our licensing system, we still have a lot of work to do – road crashes continue to be one of the leading causes of death for young people aged 18 to 25.”