The Road Ahead : June July 2007
JUN/JLY 07 9 cars would escape the ban. Other exemptions will be judged on a case-by-case basis, with strict guidelines. Drivers on a P1 licence will be subject to the same mobile phone bans that apply in the learner stage. In a linked initiative, motorbike riders will be required to gain additional on-road experience in a car, by holding a provisional driver's licence for 12 months before they can obtain a motorbike learner's licence. This will make the minimum age for a motorcycle learner's licence 18, with provisional riders having to be at least 19 years old. The authorities have also taken aim at undesirable behaviour by all young motorists. Late-night driving restrictions (11pm-5am) can be applied as a penalty for provisional drivers under 25 who accumulate too many demerit points, as well as open licence holders under 25 who return to driving after disqualification. All learners and P platers must carr y their licence at all times when driving and remain subject to a zero blood alcohol concentration reading when in control of a vehicle. To attain a P2 licence, young drivers will be required to pass a computer simulated hazard perception test, similar to those used in southern states. Due for introduction in the middle of 2008, the hazard perception test will use video scenarios to challenge young drivers to identify a safe way to complete a driving skill. In the P2 stage, young drivers will be required to display green P plates and will still be subject to the bans on high- powered vehicles. For drivers under 23, the P2 stage will be for two years. Transitional arrangements apply for young drivers who are 'stuck' between the old and new systems. Would-be drivers who are already 16, but turn 16 years and six months after June 1 can obtain a learner's licence between July 1 and the end of the year and be subject to only six months as a minimum period on L plates. They will still be required to gain 60 hours of super vised driving, including five hours at night, recorded in an approved logbook before applying for a provisional licence. Other wise, any renewal of a learner's licence after July 1 will fall under the new scheme. RACQ president Julie-Anne Schafer said the Club had generally welcomed the sweeping reforms, which will give Queensland the nation's most comprehensive graduated licensing scheme and a real chance to reduce the dispropor tionate involvement of young drivers and their passengers in crashes. "The Club is proud to have lobbied the government strongly for such initiatives as the minimum super vised pre-licence driving hours and the peer passenger restriction, which have reduced crash risks greatly wherever they have been introduced," Ms Schafer said. "We're now equally proud to be par tnering Queensland Transpor t in the provision of information and advice for learner drivers, their super visors and provisional licence holders. "There's no doubt it's going to be tougher for young people to gain their licences from now on. And many parents are going to have to find more time each week to provide super vised experience for learner drivers. "But I'm sure all parents will appreciate just how valuable an investment this extra involvement will be in their child's safety." Queensland Transpor t Minister Paul Lucas said young drivers die on our roads at around two-and-a-half times the rate of other drivers. "We're making big changes to address a big problem," Mr Lucas said. "I realise that some of these measures won't be popular with young drivers. But we're not tr ying to win a popularity contest, we're tr ying to save lives." "The tragedy of young people being killed on our roads is the responsibility of all of us. Governments have a role to play, but governments alone can't make it work." "I want to make sure parents have the tools to help their children gain the best driving experience possible." DID YOU KNOW? • Licences have been compulsor y in Queensland since 1922 and photo licences were introduced almost 22 years ago on July 1, 1986. • For further information on Queensland's new young driver regime, visit http://www.transpor t.qld.gov.au/home/ licensing/learn_to_drive/young_drivers "All learners and P platers must carry their licence at all times when driving..."
April May 2007
August September 2007