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Give young drivers a break

Young drivers should be rewarded for good behaviour with free licences and incentives to purchase cars with a five-star safety rating.

That’s the message from the NRMA, in a report that it has just been released called Come Home Safe.

The report points out that young drivers aged 17 to 25 are still over-represented in deaths and serious injuries.

Crashes involving P-plate drivers make up 15 per cent of all fatalities on NSW roads, yet provisional drivers account for only eight per cent of all licence holders.

The NRMA wants the Government to review the Graduated Licensing Scheme (GLS) program to ensure it is delivering positive safety outcomes.

The report also proposes trialling connected technology to assess the driving behaviour of young drivers, with rewards for young drivers who consistently demonstrate good driver behaviour.

NRMA boss Tim Trumper said offering incentives to young drivers to purchase a five-star rated safe car will deliver safety benefits to the community.

“We know that a driver of the worst vehicle rated under the Used Car Safety Rating scheme is 10 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured than a driver in the safest vehicle,” he said.

“Much of the NSW Road Safety Plan 2021 rightly focuses on strong enforcement of laws that aim to stop reckless behaviour that lead to deaths on our roads.

“The NRMA believes this should be complimented with encouragement and rewarding young people who do the right thing by adopting a proposal already introduced in a number of states and territories across Australia.

Independent vehicle safety authority, ANCAP, supports the NRMA’s call to address young driver safety through registration incentives.

NRMA is a founding member of ANCAP, which is supported by 23 member organisations from across Australia and New Zealand.

“Our young and provisionally licensed drivers are some of our most at-risk on the roads, and incentives to make it more affordable for them to travel in safer cars is to be commended,” ANCAP chief exec, James Goodwin, said.

“We tend to see younger and less experienced drivers travel in older, less safe vehicles which presents a double-vulnerability.

“This is as much an affordability issue as it is a safety issue and we must look at all available options.

“ANCAP strongly supports the leadership shown by the NRMA in putting forward ideas to encourage safer vehicle choices as a renewed focus is needed if we are to combat current road trauma levels.”

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