Drivers license at 17 in Victoria
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As a Victorian youth, I see the affect that VicRoads having their required age to apply for a probationary driver license set at 18 years old affects youth, Victoria is the only state in Australia that has this requirement, other states allow young men and women to apply for their P Plates at 17 years old with an exception of Northern Territory that allows people to apply for their P Plates at 16 years and 6 months old.
Not being able to get your P Plates until you are 18 years old is a huge disadvantage to many Victorians.
We cannot start working in workplaces that require personal transport, this leaves a lot of young people unable to begin their career until they are 18, young victorians that are looking for an apprenticeship are unable to work due to not having a drivers license, some are unable to be employed because they do not have a drivers license.
Young victorians either have to rely on the Victorian public transport or there parents/older siblings for transport. Not having this change leads to disadvantages for the youth of Victoria but also the families of them as instead being at work on time they have to drive there children/sibling to work or school. If the age was lowered parents could get to work earlier and the child can drive themselve and there siblings to school.
The public transport in Victoria, is to say the least "unreliable", delayed and cancelled public transport due to lots of construction, this means many young people that only have public transport to depend on are being very disadvantaged, this of course can be relieved by lowering the driving age to 17 years old.
Allowing 17 year olds to get their P Plates gives them the chance to have a full year of solo driving experience before they turn 18, this means that they are more likely to be more responsible on the road at a younger age, this also means that by the time they are 18 and are able to legally buy/drink alcohol they won't be on the roads totally inexperienced and they will know not to drink and drive, but right now the laws are that at 18 you can get your P Plates and begin drinking alcohol at the same age, these two privileges don't go hand in hand, but if we allow people to get their P Plates at 17 they will have a full year of solo driving experience to know not to drink and drive.
Driving Statistics of Deaths by State/Territory show that Victoria even with driving age set to 18 years old, deaths were not noticeably lower than other states that allowed 17 year olds to get their P Plates, in fact in the 2012 RDA summary in some cases they found that Queensland (you get your P Plates at 17 years old in QLD), had less deaths on the road than Victoria.
Studies show better driver training and with more experience on the road matters more than age when it comes to safety on the road, elective driving courses could benefit all people regardless of age.
Allowing 17 year olds to get their P Plates would benefit many Victorians Youths and their families.
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