New road safety trial for NSW P-plate drivers

Date: Oct 19, 2011

A new road safety trial that aims to help keep young drivers in New South Wales and Victoria safer on the roads has been launched this week in Sydney.

The program, which was announced by NSW roads minister Duncan Gay at the UWS Quakers Hill campus earlier this week, will initially focus on the Western Sydney region, as well as Tamworth, Armidale, Forbes, Dubbo, Tweed Heads and Lismore, as well as parts of Victoria.

Gay outlined his hopes for the project, which is intended to reduce the number of car crashes in these areas by at least ten per cent, as well as foster greater risk awareness and improve safe driving behaviour on Australian roads.

He said: “Sadly, the Western Sydney Region has by far the highest amount of P-plate driver crashes and fatalities in NSW.”

The $10 million initiative focuses on changing the behaviour of newly-passed drivers between the ages of 17 and 21 in NSW and 18 and 22 in Victoria.

Organisers claim it is among the world’s most complex and large-scale scientific research studies focused on driver education.

In Western Sydney alone, a total of 1,600 young provisional drivers will receive training under the initiative, which includes eight hours of driver education designed to inspire changes in behaviour on the road.

Pilot testing of the scheme was carried out earlier this year in May and August – and trials are scheduled to get underway this month.

In addition to reducing the amount of collisions and car-related fatalities on Australian roads, the program also aims to provide new research and in-depth knowledge on the habits and behaviours of young drivers, as well as gauge their willingness to participate in further road safety initiatives.

The P Drivers Project is set to take place over the next 15 months and its effectiveness will be measured against a survey group.

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