Getting a first car is usually an exciting and exhilarating experience for a young person, albeit a rather scary one for their parents!
Holding the keys to a little hatchback or sedan often represents much more than just the ability to drive – it is usually a young adult’s first real taste of independence.
That said, it seems that some teenagers need to be reminded that driving is a serious responsibility, not their golden ticket to freedom.
Last weekend (October 5, 6 and 7) NSW police caught a number of youths driving dangerously and recklessly.
For example, just after midday on the Friday, an 18-year-old was caught travelling at a speed of 116km/h in a 60km/h zone. As a consequence, the driver has temporarily lost their license and was fined more than $2,000.
Another situation happened on the Saturday afternoon and involved an unregistered trail bike. Police approached the rider but he sped off, which lead to a pursuit in which the rider allegedly went up to speeds of 110km/h.
The 16-year-old driver was eventually arrested and appeared in the Parramatta Children’s Court earlier this week. He was charged with riding an unlicensed, uninsured, unregistered bike as well as for being in possession of suspected stolen property.
In the same weekend, police also arrested a 44-year-old man who was speeding along the Hume Highway near Goulburn.
While not a teenager, the man was a novice driver – he was on his L plates, although he did not have these on display. The male was also not accompanied by a fully-licenced driver.
Acting assistant commissioner Stuart Smith said he was disappointed and concerned to see inexperienced drivers breaking the road rules.
“While they make up only 15 per cent of drivers on NSW roads, young people are four times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than drivers older than 35 years,” said Mr Smith.
“Tragically, it seems that our greatest and least tested motorists are far more likely to take risks while in control of a vehicle. All too often, these risks can have heartbreaking consequences.”
Those involved in the weekend’s arrests may have been lucky enough to walk away without sustaining catastrophic injury, but not everyone is so lucky.
If you are ever involved in a car accident then you may be eligible for compensation – there are lawyers in Sydney who can help you make a claim. They operate on a no win no fee basis meaning that you do not have to pay unless your case is successful.