Young drivers restricted from todayNew laws came into effect across South Australia today limiting young and inexperienced drivers from driving high powered vehicles.
By Tom Coull
Included in the amendments for inexperienced drivers are changes to the maximum speed limit for learner drivers, increasing to 100km/h where speed signs permit and when accompanied by a licensed motor driving instructor in a clearly marked driving school vehicle fitted with dual brakes.
The new regulations also include learner drivers being required to complete at least 75 supervised driving hours (including 15 hours at night) while those under the age of 25 must hold a learner's permit for at least 12 months.
Older learners must hold a learner's permit for at least six months.Also from today provisional licence holders under the age of 25 must not drive a high-powered vehicle including vehicles with engines of eight or more cylinders, vehicles with turbocharged or supercharged engines (excluding diesel powered vehicles), vehicles that have been modified to increase engine performance and nominated high performance vehicles, including BMW M & M3, Honda NSX, Nissan 350Z & 370Z, all post 1994 Porsches and the Mercedes Benz SLK350.
A $250 fine plus 3 demerit points applies to those driver detected flouting the new laws with a penalty of up to $1,250 if drivers decide to have a court deal with the complaint and a conviction is recorded.
High-powered vehicle restrictions do not apply to drivers over the age of 25 or to those drivers who obtained their P1 or P2 licence before today.
Disqualified drivers will also be affected by the new regulations with disqualified drivers being forced to go back a licence stage.
According to the South Australian Minister for Road Safety, Jack Snelling, the regulations are designed to reduce the road toll, particularly the toll on young drivers.
"We know that young people are about three times more likely to be involved in a serious car crash than the rest of the population.
"We're determined to try and reduce the number of young people being killed and seriously injured in car accidents so we are introducing these reforms," he added.
"This is just part of a number of measures we're taking to try and reduce our road toll.
"We want less parents, less Mums and Dads getting that terrible knock on the door from the Police telling them that a son or daughter isn't coming home," Mr Snelling said.
But not everyone is happy with the new laws.
Anne Bainbridge, Executive Director of the Youth Affairs Council of SA says the laws will result in increased costs.
"I think one of the biggest issues is the cost for young people in spending that extra time on their L plates.
"I think their was an opportunity for a subsidy," she added.
"I think ultimately it would be great to involve young people in how to address this issue," Ms Bainbridge added.