Tough laws catching plenty of P-platers

P-PLATERS are an easy scapegoat when it comes to declaring the least safe driver on Coffs Coast roads, but the cliché may be closer to the truth with new figures showing more than 100 provisional drivers lose their licence every day.

Figures from the Roads and Traffic Authority show more than 52,000 P-platers have had their licences suspended in NSW in the past 16 months, following the introduction of tougher laws last year.

Member for Coffs Harbour and Opposition Road Safety spokesman,Andrew Fraser, claims the figures highlight a need for more driver training before P-platers hit the open road.

“What we need is a proper driver training and education regime that can teach young drivers not to break the law and the possibility of what could happen to them,” Mr Fraser said.

The tougher laws were introduced following a tragic accident at Broken Head north of the Coffs Coast last year, in which an 18-year-old driver of a Commodore ran off the road and accidentally killed the four teenage passengers in the car.

It was hoped strengthening the laws and increasing the emphasis on protection would stem the tide of P-plater accidents, but the statistics say otherwise.

The RTA's figures found one in eight P-platers have been suspended for speeding, 2500 have been caught driving banned turbocharged cars, 573 have been caught using a mobile phone behind the wheel, and more than 2300 broke the 11pm curfew preventing P-platers from driving with more than one person under 21 in the car.

A study by Monash University found P-platers were 33 more times likely to have a crash than L-plate drivers.

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