ACT Government proposes harsher driving restrictions on P-Platers

P-Platers L-Platers driving test
New restrictions and changes for young drivers could will require more driving lessons. Photo by Yastremska, Bigstock.

P-Platers that live in Canberra could soon be hit with harsher restrictions on how they drive. The ACT Government wants to make it so that first-year P-Platers can’t drive between midnight and dawn and are also only allowed one passenger that is under 24.

Restrictions on P-Platers isn’t the only regulation proposal that is being put forward, the Government also wants to extend the amount of time for learner drivers to a year before they can move to P-Plates. Doubling the amount of time for the permit to be held will also double the amount of practice hours from 50 to 100. This number will also include 10 hours driving at night while being supervised.

These changes will follow the same suit as the rest of the Australia with many other states already adopting these extended periods. The Government also wants to implement P1 and P2 stages of the P-Plates where over a 3 year period; drivers will be on P1 for the first 12 months.

P1 drivers will not be allowed to drive between the hours of midnight and 5am. They will also be limited to one passenger that is between the ages of 16 and 24. Currently Western and South Australia are the only states with a straight ban on P-Platers driving during the early hours of the morning. The exception is that in WA, the restriction is only for 6 months.

Other states such as New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland restrict P1 drivers from driving at night if they have multiple passengers.

Shane Rattenbury, the Road Safety Minister, acknowledges that these proposed changes and restrictions will affect the independence of young drivers but the changes are necessary for the safety of Australian roads. The increase of these measures saw a 50 percent reduction of serious injury and fatal crashes in drivers under the age of 24.

From 2006, an estimated average of 12 people a year die on ACT roads. Roughly 2 of those that are killed are between the ages of 17 and 24. Additionally a young driver dies every year with half of those deaths happening between the hours of midnight and 5am.

The restrictions and changes are open to the for a community consultation to examine possible exemptions and concerns from the general public. While these changes are being proposed, there are no changes that affect the speed limits for P and L-Platers as well as a ban on high-powered vehicles.