The male contingent of Coffs Harbour?s young drivers have their arms crossed over the new measures for P-plate drivers
The male contingent of Coffs Harbour?s young drivers have their arms crossed over the new measures for P-plate drivers

Double jeopardy

By JENI FAULKNER

JARRED Huxter, 19, is still angry he lost his licence recently, but now he is even unhappier because he has to pay for his crime one more time.

Next year, when Jarred goes for his licence again, he will be restricted to carrying only one passenger.

"I have to give my friends a lift to work so, with these new rules, when I get my licence I won't be able to do that," Jarred said.

To make the situation even worse, Jarred is currently being driven to work by a friend who carries a P1 lic-ence.

This friend drives Jarred's turbo-charged Nissan Skyline but, come 2005, this will also be illegal.

Like many other young drivers Jarred will be applying for an exemption next year, but he still thinks the new measures by the State Government this week are ridiculous.

The two new measures released on Wednesday have been designed to improve road safety for young drivers across the State.

They include: a ban prohibiting P1 licence holders from driving high-performance cars such as eight-cylinder, turbo-charged and super-charged vehicles.

It also includes a limit of one passenger for 12 months from P1 and P2 drivers who have lost their licences for demerit points, excess speed suspension, disqualification by a court or cancellation.

The Minister for Roads, Mr Carl Scully, said both initiatives would be introduced in the first half of next year.

"Exemptions will apply, including for hardship and family and work responsibilities," Mr Scully said.

His decision this week was in response to a discussion paper and views which were expressed at youth forums.

And, even though many young drivers are unhappy with the latest restrictions, they can be relieved that passenger numbers were only restricted to those with offences.

"Young people have indicated that most try to do the right thing on the roads, and a blanket passenger restriction would have serious negative consequences, including for work, family activities and responsible social activity," he said.

"Young people have indicated they would support a passenger restriction for P-plate drivers who have infringed the road rules sufficiently to warrant losing their licences."

Mr Scully said community consultation would continue on nine other proposals outlined last month. To make a comment visit the website at www.youngdrivers.com.au



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