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Learner driver experiences to improve licensing systems - Centre for ...

Learner driver experiences to improve licensing systems - Centre for ...

Learner driver experiences to improve licensing systems - Centre for

leQe auceAutumn 2009heLearner driver experiencesto improve licensing systemsCARRS-Q researchers have recently finaliseda study comparing learner driver experiencesin Queensland and New South Wales, whichhas important implications for novice driverlicensing across Australia.CARRS-Q PhD Scholar Lyndel Bates said newdrivers of all ages have a higher crash risk,however it is the youngest drivers who are mostat risk.Around the world, young drivers continueto be over-represented in road crashes. InQueensland, for example, drivers aged 17 – 24are twice as likely to be involved in a crashthan other drivers. More particularly, the crashrisk for drivers is highest in the first 6 – 12months of solo driving.“One countermeasure that appears to reducenovice drivers’ high crash risk is graduateddriver licensing which requires new drivers toprogress through a number of stages whilstacquiring experience.“While the ‘learner phase’ is relatively safecompared to solo driving, it lays the foundationfor the future safety of novice drivers.“We wanted to explore learner experiencesto investigate whether there were differencesbased on the licensing system they wereexposed to, examine the social, environmentaland socio-demographic factors that impact onthem whilst learning to drive, and to identifypotential improvements,” she said.learners to log 50 hours of practice prior toobtaining their provisional licence, while nosuch requirement existed in Queensland.Overall, this requirement appears to have hada positive effect on the amount of practiceobtained by learners. On average, the NewSouth Wales participants reported obtaining asignificantly higher amount of practice thantheir Queensland counterparts. However,the proportion of New South Wales learnerswho reported obtaining more than 100 hoursof practice was lower than that for theQueensland drivers, suggesting that the 50hours requirement may have inadvertentlydiscouraged some learners from obtainingadditional practice.“It appears that many of the New South Waleslearners decided to undertake the practicaldriving test relatively soon after reaching thetarget number of hours.“This suggests that Governments should becareful when specifying the number of hoursrequired, since too low a requirement maysend the wrong message to learners and theirsupervisors.In this regard, it is encouraging to note thatboth the New South Wales and Queenslanddriver licensing laws have now been changedto require learners to obtain a minimum of120 and 100 hours of supervised practice,respectively,” Ms Bates said....continued page 2Contents2 Director’s messageUnlicensed and unregistereddriving set for review3 International road safety news4 CARRS-Q takes out communitysafety awardEducation update5 Connection with parents andpeers: A potential influence onyoung drink drivers?Researcher in focus: AngelaNielsonNominations open for 2009Queensland Road Safety Awards6 Mark your diaries!Other news in briefShare the visionWe have moved!CARRS-Q has relocated to QUT’s KelvinGrove Campus in Brisbane. Please seerear page for our new contact details andupdate your address books accordingly!The study examined the experiences of nearly400 learner drivers in metropolitan and regionalQueensland and New South Wales and collectedinformation on gender, age, vehicle access, testattempts, supervised practice, self-reportedbehaviour, offence and crash involvement,sensation-seeking and perceptions aboutbreaking the road rules.Ms Bates said the study had a number ofimplications for driver licensing policyparticularly in the areas of mandatingsupervised practice, the use of log books andinfluencing perceptions of risk.“At the time the study was conducted,it was mandatory in New South Wales forSource: RACQThe CARRS-Q vision is to decrease the local, nationaland international burden of trauma-related harm.

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