16 05 2006

OK, I know that the greatest incidence of car accidents and loss of life is with those aged 17-25, and I know that SOME of them are hoons (a small percentage), but why target ALL P-platers (probationary drivers) with the same draconian laws? Western Australia's "nanny" legislators are bringing in some very tough measures designed to reduce the likelihood of injury to our young people. But I have some serious doubts.

Where is the evidence to show that such measures actually DO reduce the death and accident rate? What other countries have implemented such measures successfully?

Where is the evidence to show that the incidence now is any different to what it was 10 years ago, or 15, 20, 30, or even 50 years ago?

So what are these laws?

Well, the ones that I questioned on hearing about them the other day are those concerned with curfews and number of people in the car of a P-plater. With these new laws, P-platers cannot drive between midnight and 5:00am, and they can't have more than one passenger in the car with them at any one time. Oh, and they have to have their driving supervised by a 'responsible adult' for longer after actually gaining their license and will have to have much longer supervised log book time when they are on L-plates (Learner plates).

I'm not so fussed about the length of time for supervised driving, but I am concerned about the curfew and the number of passengers aspects. Why? Because for MANY young people – who ARE responsible kids – these measures will stop them from getting employment and getting an education, further alienating a group who already feels alienated from society.

With the current cost of fuel, how can a struggling uni student who does the right thing by the environment and their pocket, now deal with the fact that they can no longer car pool and share rides to/from uni? Please don't say "Use public transport" – in Perth, this is NOT practical for many kids because it would entail at least a 2-hour trip each way, with changeovers at bus/train stations etc. So what will be the result? I can see a few scenarios – kids will risk not being caught and continue to share rides; perhaps kids will drop out of uni because catching public transport is too hard or the cost of fuel (when not shared) is too high; maybe they'll become more dependent on their parents for rides at a time when their independence is so paramount.

And the curfew… how does that help kids who have part-time jobs working in the hospitality industry, for example? If they have to be home before midnight, they could easily lose their job. Those who pack the supermarket shelves in the middle of the night will be similarly affected. All because someone decided that midnight was somehow different to any other time of the day and that these kids had to be tucked up in bed by then. Unfortunately, these 'kids' aren't 'kids' any more – they are at least 17, and seeing as though you only have to be 18 to vote and to drink, I can't see them complying with these draconian laws for very long.



5 responses

11 11 2006

i completly agree, i am a reasonable driver and these laws cost me alot of grieve.

20 08 2007

how many demerit points do p platers in western australia have? I got my license in april but not sure if the rules have changed.. need help!!!

20 08 2007

Hi Coby

Well, I couldn’t find much at all about the new laws brought in on July 1, 2007. However, Wikipedia says that P-platers get half the demerit points of other drivers, which would make it 6. But I couldn’t find a date as to that information.

Another site said that it was said that it’s 12 over 3 years, which matches up with some other places that said 4 a year.

The Department of Planning and Infrastructure’s Licensing Services website has no information about this that I could find. Typical. They bring in the laws, then don’t detail what those laws are on their own website! Their FAQ page on Demerit Points tells you zip.

17 12 2007

I really do agree with that.
I am getting my L’s in a few months but it hardly seems worth it.
What annoys me is when a P plater has an accident it is front page news all week so people think they should be banned from the roads, but if a 30 year old WOMAN has an acciddent it isn’t news att all. I think this should be considered discrimination.

17 12 2007

Since I wrote this back in May 2006, I heard on the TV News recently (NOT a reliable source, but the only one I had) that there will be exemptions to the curfew for those who have to work after midnight. I’m not sure what P-platers have to do to get an exemption, but presumably they’ll have to have some sort of official documentation from their employer stating that they work after midnight.

Jake: Thanks for your comments. Now please don’t get me started on the ‘yummy mummies’ who drive their little darlings everywhere in their never-seen-a-speck-of-gravel 4WDs while talking on their mobile phones, doing their makeup or hair, turning to talk to their kids, and somehow thinking they are beyond the law… I’m a female well over 30, and they REALLY get my goat. Oh, and drivers who seem to think they have to engage their passenger’s eyes when talking to them while driving, thus turning their head and their concentration away from the road. Don’t get me started on them either! You can talk and watch the road, people! You don’t have to watch your passenger!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: