Provisional drivers will be banned from driving between midnight and 5am during the first six months of getting their licence, under tough new restrictions from June 30.
Premier Alan Carpenter and Community Safety Minister John Kobelke today outlined new changes to road rules for novice Western Australian drivers.
Mr Carpenter said the changes, which included zero Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) and night-time driving restrictions for P-plate drivers, were designed to protect young drivers from death or serious injury on State roads.
“These changes put Western Australia at the forefront of driver safety and will help prepare young drivers for a lifetime of safe driving,” the Premier said.
“Contrary to popular belief, the majority of crashes involving young people occur because inexperienced drivers simply make mistakes.
“It takes about five years of driving solo for even the most confident of drivers to develop the skills and experience needed to cope with potential hazards and distractions on the road.
“Not all crashes involving young drivers are the result of risk-taking behaviour. Many are the result of a simple mistake or error in judgment made due to the inexperience of the young driver.
“Tragically, about 50 young people are killed each year, many because of simple errors or bad judgment calls - and many more are seriously injured, forever changing their way of life.”
The new changes will include:
· night-time driving restrictions in the first six months of their P-period;
· six months’ minimum on the Phase Two Learner period;
· learner’s permit to be valid for three years (instead of one) without renewal fee; and
· zero BAC limit for learner and provisional drivers (from Tuesday, July 1).
Mr Kobelke said young drivers between 17 and 24 years were over-represented in the State’s road toll.
The Minister said research showed that 17 to 18-year-olds were five times more likely to have a crash in their first year of holding a licence than more experienced drivers.
“It is a very real fact that youth and driver inexperience can be a deadly combination,” he said.
“Young people account for 28 per cent of road fatalities and 30 per cent of hospitalisations but are only 14 per cent of all licence-holders.
“Alcohol and driving don’t mix at any age, but young drivers are even more at risk of crashing than any other group. At all BAC levels, drivers in their twenties are five times as likely to crash as those over 30.
“Night driving is the greatest risk for drivers under 26. More than twice as many are killed in the early hours of the morning on weekends than in other periods. Restrictions on P-plate night time driving can reduce crashes by up to 60 per cent during the specified period.
“We make no apologies for trying to save lives on our roads, particularly when young people are involved.”
Further information on the novice driver changes is available at: http://www.officeofroadsafety.wa.gov.au
Premier’s office - 9222 9475
Minister for Community Safety's office - 9222 9211