Road safety expert calls on parents to keep supervising children after they get their licence, as State Govt double log book hours for learner drivers

Bridie Scott-Parker will deliver a free, safe driving seminar at Palmyra Primary School on Sunday.
Bridie Scott-Parker will deliver a free, safe driving seminar at Palmyra Primary School on Sunday.

A ROAD safety expert has called on parents to continue supervising their children, even after they earn their provisional licence.

Bridie Scott-Parker, lead at the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Adolescent Risk Research Unit, said young drivers would benefit greatly from having an experienced person in the vehicle with them, even after they are able to drive solo.

“After their child gets their provisional licence, parents will often turn around and say ‘thank god I don’t have to do anything like that again’,” she said.

“But remaining in the car means there’s an extra set of eyes while they build experience.

“What we’ve found is that the best way to minimise the crash risk is for parents to continue to be involved.”

Dr Scott-Parker, who will deliver a safe driving seminar at Palmyra Primary School on Sunday, said parents could also implement a privilege system which restricts new motorists from driving at night or with friends.

“You increase their privileges gradually,” she said.

“Young drivers often go from being 100 per cent supervised to 100 per cent unsupervised.

“That wouldn’t work in a workplace and I don’t think it works on the roads.”

In a move to produce safer motorists, the State Government will on Monday double to 50 the number of hours that need to be clocked up by learner drivers.

Learners will need to complete both the hazard perception test and 50 hours of supervised driving before qualifying to take the practical driving assessment (PDA) to earn their driver’s licence.

The 50-hour logbook also needs to include five hours of supervised night-time driving.

When the impending changes were announced in June, Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the new program would reduce the complexity of the provisional licence process and align WA with other states.

“The State Government has listened to industry and community feedback about the provisional licence process and we will ensure applicants have greater driving experience and cognitive maturity when attempting their driving tests,” she said.

Close to 200 people died on WA roads in 2016, with one in four people killed in the 20-29 age category.

About 14 per cent of people killed were 19 years old or younger.

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