Encouraging night driving practice to save young lives

The number of young people dying on Victorian roads, particularly at night, is behind a renewed safety plea from the Victorian Government and Transport Accident Commission (TAC).

The TAC has re-launched its campaign urging parents, guardians, and supervisors to educate learner drivers about the hazards that come with night-time driving and helping them to get at least 20 hours supervised driving experience after dark.

Research shows that in their first year on the roads, P-plate drivers are around seven times more likely to be killed or injured while driving at night, compared to fully licensed drivers.

On average, around 31 first-year P-platers are killed or seriously injured while driving at night in Victoria each year, with approximately 50,000 new drivers hitting the road annually.

The Parental Control campaign, which will feature prominently across digital, radio, press and outdoor platforms, comes as a disproportionate number of young drivers are being killed on Victorian roads.

So far this year, young drivers aged between 18 and 25 have made up around 20 per cent of all driver fatalities –while this age group accounts for approximately 10 per cent of all licence holders.

Of the 14 drivers in this age group killed in 2022, seven of the crashes have occurred between 6pm and 6am.

The campaign supports the requirement for Victorian learners to obtain at least 20 night-time driving hours, as part of their 120 hours of supervised experience, before receiving their probationary licence.

A range of initiatives – including Victoria’s Graduated Licensing System and the Labor Government’s $146 million Young Driver Safety package – have been effective in helping reduce road trauma among young drivers in the past decade.

The Victorian Government is also slashing costs for new drivers and their families with the abolition of learner and probationary licence fees, as well as online testing fees.

The campaign will run until mid-September, and more information can be found on the TAC website.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll

“It is a sad reality that at any time of day, first-year P-platers are significantly more likely to be involved in a fatal or serious injury crash than fully licensed drivers, and research shows that risk increases at night.”

“Experience and maturity are crucial when it comes to the safety of young drivers – this campaign urges parents, guardians and supervisors to educate learners around the risks and ensure they get at least 20 hours of practice at night.”

Quote attributable to Transport Accident Commission CEO Joe Calafiore

“Ensuring our next generation of solo drivers have enough experience, in all conditions, is absolutely critical to them being as safe as possible when they hit the road as P-platers.”

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