More cars deemed safe for young drivers

Wednesday 25 June 2014

More cars deemed safe for young drivers

Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay today announced new rules enabling P-platers to drive a wider range of safe vehicles to help make life easier for families and young drivers.

Mr Gay said he had ordered the Centre for Road Safety to look into the reforms to redefine high performance vehicles to reflect the reality of today’s cars where super charged no longer just means super speed.

“I asked our safety experts to work with other states and territories, the Federal Government and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries to re-evaluate the list of banned cars to recognise changes to technology and provide a more uniform approach across the country,” Mr Gay said.

“The previous blanket ban on P-platers driving supercharged or turbocharged vehicles was put in place when the features on these cars were only used to enhance speed and acceleration.

“These days, for many vehicles in this category it is about fuel efficiency not speed and acceleration, so it was appropriate we revisit the ban in light of the fact many of these vehicles are low performance with modern, effective safety features.

“The new rules to be introduced from 1 August will provide P-platers and their families with 6,500 more options while helping to ensure they can stay safe.

“For families with a car which may have been previously off limits to young drivers, these reforms mean P-platers no longer need to carry an exemption when driving the family vehicle.

“Finding out whether a vehicle is okay will also be easier with the launch next week of a new web-based tool on the Centre for Road Safety website to let P-plate drivers, their families and employers easily check whether they can drive a particular model.

“Sourcing data for vehicles manufactured before 1 January 2010 has required a lot of work, but we wanted to do this before the new rules came into force, to deliver a better, fairer and simpler scheme to young drivers across the state.

“The new policy incorporates the recently agreed national definition of high performance vehicles with around 7,500 vehicles to remain banned for P-platers.

“Cars that remain banned for p-platers include cars above 130 kilowatts per tonne, and a few models that have performance characteristics that pose a high risk for inexperienced drivers.

“For example the 2007 Subaru WRX has a power-to-mass ratio of 123 kilowatts per tonne, but is banned because it can also go from zero to 100 in less than six seconds,” Minister Gay said.

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