Increase the NSW legal driving age to 18
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I have a son who is turning 16 shortly and is very excited by the prospect of applying for his driving learners permit. He printed the Licence Application form from the RMS website, completed it and signed it, saying he was ready to apply.
I am appalled by the regulations pertaining to the Licencing process for Learner drivers under the age of 18.
1. A parent or guardian’s signature is not required;
2. If an applicant is required to provide a referee for proof of address, any person can do so. Except if the person signing is a parent - In which case, I would need to actually present myself to “show proof of my identity”;
3. The minor applicant is consenting for RMS to obtain his or her health records.
I strongly believe the legislation should be changed.
1. Minors cannot purchase a knife from any grocery store (coles, woollies etc) even if to make a sandwich to take to school, yet they may apply to operate a complex piece of equipment without parental permission.
2. Minors cannot so much as get on the bus for school excursion without parental permission, how are they being allowed to obtain a licence?
3. Parental permission is required for medical procedures on minors. How is it acceptable that they alone, may permit the release of their medical records?
4. Opal travel cards are provided to students to take public transport. The general public is regularly encouraged to take public transport, yet children at the age of 16 are being allowed to apply for licences which serve the sole purpose of putting more cars on the road.
As Parents and Guardians we are responsible for our children until they turn 18. We are expected to ensure their health, safety and wellbeing (as well as financially responsible) which is why all of the activities they undertake in their life, until they turn 18 are guided by the parents.
In fact, parents may be charged if they fail in some of those duties of care. Even when they play a sport, parental permission is required so it is hard to accept that they may be given licence to operate a piece of equipment that is a far more dangerous and a riskier activity than borrowing library books or getting immunised.
The age allowed for Licence Applications be raised to 18 or at the very least, parental permission be required.
With the delay of allowing a learners permit, there will be a subsequent delay in obtaining a Provisional licence. The statistics alone would indicate that this would only be a positive in relation to safety on our roads. This is in addition, to delaying further congestion on our roads and lessening the environmental impact of cars.
Almost all other aspects of our lives that require reasonable judgment are not permitted prior to the age of 18, such as purchase of alcohol, buying property or having a credit card. The law is clear that parents are responsible for minors and minors cannot take part in any activity that requires their personal responsibility – it should not be any different in relation to driver’s licences.
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