New South Wales will introduce changes to the Graduated Licensing Scheme (GLS) that mean recently licensed drivers will be subjected to the same conditions as those in Victoria.
From November 20 this year all new or novice drivers under the GLS will have to complete the hazard perception test before progressing on to the driving test, while P1 drivers will not have to take the test to get their P2 licence.
The third change affects the driver qualification test which P2 drivers no longer have to take but, under the new structure, P2 drivers that receive a suspension for unsafe driving will have to remain a P2 driver for a further six months.
According to the minister for roads, maritime and freight Melinda Pavey, the revision will allow young or inexperienced drivers to gain the vital experience they need to be safer road-users behind the wheel.
“We know that the first six months of driving solo is the highest risk period for novice drivers so it’s important we continue to look at ways to improve licensing of young drivers to ensure they get the training and experience they need to be safe on our roads,” Mrs Pavey said.
“Young drivers continue to be over-represented in road crashes. P-platers make up 8 per cent of all driver licence holders, yet their crashes account for 15 per cent of all fatalities on NSW roads.
“Last year was a horror year for road crashes, with 100 fatalities and 1,684 serious injuries involving a 17-25 year old driver on NSW roads. It’s vital we continue to adapt and improve our approach to reduce this tragic loss of life and serious injuries involving our young drivers.”
Since the Graduated Licencing Scheme was introduced in 2001, the number of young driver fatalities has halved on NSW roads, although that improvement to road safety is partly attributable to a number of factors including a significant improvement in vehicle safety standards.