The table below summarises the key changes facing Learner and Probationary Drivers due with the introduction of the new Graduated Licensing System.

This table from Arrive Alive Website

Group

New Measure

Current Situation

Reasons

Learner Drivers Applying for a probationary licence test when under 21 years of age Must have at least 120 hours of driving experience, including 10 hours at night No requirement for minimum amounts of driving experience Inexperience is the most significant crash factor for young drivers.Research shows that learners who practise more are safer as newly licensed drivers.Learners with 120 hours supervised practice have a 30 per cent lower crash risk in the first two years of licensed driving than learners with only 40 hours of supervised practice.
Must have held a learner permit for at least 12 months Must hold a learner permit for at least six months (or three months if 25 years or older) New learners who complete a short learner period are estimated to have had less practice and have an increased crash risk.Spreading practice over longer time periods improves skill development.
All learner drivers Must carry a learner permit while driving Effective traffic law enforcement relies on being able to identify the licence status of drivers.
Learner and Probationary (P1) Drivers No mobile phone use, hands-free or hand-held, or any messaging of any kind Unable to use a hand-held mobile telephone (the same as other drivers) Young drivers are more likely to have a mobile telephone with them when driving compared to other drivers.Mobile telephone use of any kind increases the risk of fatality by at least four times.Young drivers are more susceptible to distraction than more experienced drivers.
Probationary Drivers A two-stage probationary licence system with a P1 licence for the first 12 months, and then a P2 licence for three years. Drivers first licensed at 21 years of age or older will skip the P1 licence and go straight to a P2 licence. A single three year probationary licence for all new drivers New, young probationary drivers have the most crashes.Adding a new more restricted P1 licence before moving to a three year P2 licence reinforces the importance of the first step into solo driving.A P1 licence will protect new drivers by limiting their exposure to high risk situations.
Must have a good driving record to progress through each licence stage. A poor driving record extends the P1 or P2 licence by six months. No requirement for a good driving record to progress through the licence stages. Requiring new drivers to demonstrate a good driving record to progress to a less restricted licence stage has been estimated to reduce crashes by around five per cent.Provides an incentive for a safer driving behaviour.
For P1 drivers, towing not permitted except for work or when under instruction No restriction on towing Towing adds complexity to the driving task, and new drivers are more likely to be affected by this. New drivers need to consolidate their driving skills without additional distractions.
New high powered vehicle restriction will prevent probationary drivers from driving vehicles with:

  • engines with eight or more cylinders
  • turbocharged or supercharged engines
  • nominated high performance six cylinder engines
  • engines that have been modified to increase the vehicle’s performance.

Exemptions will be available and offences will attract a fine and three demerit points.

Power/weight restriction on driving high powered vehicles, but the restriction needs to be clarified to make it easier to identify which vehicles cannot be driven by probationary drivers.No demerit points apply to this offence. New solo drivers generally have a high risk of crash involvement. Speed and risk-taking behaviours are strong contributors to this high risk.Restricting access to high powered vehicles will help limit the potential negative consequences of these risky driving behaviours.A revised restriction will make it easier for probationary drivers to follow the law.
Drivers aged under 26 years and probationary drivers All drink driving offenders (including first-time offenders) will have to fit an alcohol ignition interlock when relicensed, for a minimum of six months Alcohol interlock requirements exist for repeat offenders Alcohol is involved in 50 per cent of deaths for 21 – 25 year old drivers.Repeat drink driving is a significant road safety issue and often starts from a young age.Alcohol interlocks are a well-established drink driving measure – they provide a practical rehabilitation tool for drink drivers and will help deter initial and repeat drink drivers.

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