A study conducted in Australia finds that graduated driver licensing restrictions are also very effective in helping reducing crash rates when they’re applied to newly licensed drivers between 18 to 20 years of age. The study was conducted in Victoria, Australia, and found that after changes to driver licensing laws were put into effect, injurious accident rates fell by approximately 23% for drivers in the 18 to 20 year age group in the first year of probationary driving. The rate of fatalities or serious injuries fell by 31%.
In 2007 and again in 2008, the laws governing driver’s licensing for motorists in Victoria were strengthened, and several restrictions were included. In July 2008, the probationary period for novice drivers was increased from 3 years to 4 years. There were also a number restrictions that were put into place during the first year of the probationary license, like a ban on cell phone use while driving, including a ban on hands-free sets. The new laws also imposed a restriction of just one passenger between the age of 16 and 21 in the car.
All motorists in their first year of a provisional license were required to maintain a good driving record, and a road test was introduced before the motorist could progress to the next stage of the provisional license period.
The researchers found that there were declines in the number of serious as well as fatal accidents after these laws were strengthened. After these laws were put into effect, young motorists were less likely to say that they drove with more than one passenger in the car. They were also less likely to say that they used cell phones while driving and were also less likely to commit traffic offenses.
In California too, car accident lawyers have credited graduated driver’s licensing programs for the decline in the number of teenagers being killed in auto accidents. Parents have a big role to play in ensuring that their teenage children follow all these rules stringently.
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