Comments made by the Premier that the Government is actively considering reducing the number of hours required by learner drivers before going for their licence, as a way of clearing the backlog of tests, is a major concern.
The comments by the Premier are misguided, poorly-judged, and actively undermine and harm efforts to make our roads safer.
The comments were not endorsed by the RACV, who said that despite the backlog of young drivers waiting to undertake a test, we must not make any compromises on safety.
The requirement for 120 hours of driving experience is not an arbitrary number; it is the number shown to provide the greatest risk reduction for new drivers.
In 2019, the road toll was up 25% on the prior year, and there was a 100% increase in fatalities in the 18-20 age group.
No parent wants to see their child unsafe on the road, and any reduction in the number of hours that learners require before going for their probationary licence will do just that; flood the road with less-experienced drivers.
If the Premier wants some ideas that won’t make our young drivers less-safe, he should listen to the repeated calls of the Liberal Nationals and immediately allow learner drivers to get experience by reinstating driving lessons in a safe manner.