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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 29 November 2018) . . Page.. 5047 ..


The current ACT GLS has fewer components than any other Australian jurisdiction and does not meet all of the components of the national framework standard model, with only limited staged restrictions on learner and provisional drivers such as zero blood alcohol and restrictions on towing capacity. The proposed reforms align with the top-level model within the Australian graduated licensing scheme policy framework, endorsed by the Transport and Infrastructure Council, and are designed to encourage and guide improvements in graduated licensing schemes for all states and territories. Extensive consultation has been undertaken on these proposals.

I released the original your plates discussion paper and opened community consultation in April this year, with a number of significant licensing conditions proposed for new drivers in the ACT. Feedback was received via an online survey and written submissions. Staff from the Justice and Community Safety Directorate met with young people during Youth Week, and with driving instructors. The online survey received over 4,300 responses. The largest proportion of survey respondents were young people, with almost 60 per cent of respondents aged 16 to 25. Forty-four written submissions were received from community members, industry stakeholders such as the Youth Advisory Council, driving instructors, and the NRMA.

I have taken on board the significant feedback from the community, which has been used to inform a revised GLS model which balances young people’s independence with enhanced road safety outcomes. The original proposal included the introduction of a late-night driving restriction from midnight to 5 am, and peer aged passenger—that is, 16 to 24-year-olds—restrictions for P1 drivers. These components received the most community opposition, given the impact this may have on the work and social lives of young people. Suggestions were received for exemptions under specific circumstances; for example, for employment and education, for transporting family members and in emergencies.

Having regard to the views from the community heard to date, I will not be progressing a midnight to 5 am driving restriction. Instead, the proposed late-night driving restriction will be in line with New South Wales laws, which restrict P1 drivers to one peer aged passenger between the hours of 11 pm and 5 am. The proposed age bracket for peer passengers is 16 to 22 years. This addresses community concerns about employment and independence, and also allows a P1 licence holder to be the designated driver for one peer aged friend at a time.

The other significant change is to the proposal for a full mobile phone ban for learner and provisional drivers. I have listened to community feedback and have amended the model to provide that voice-guided GPS phone applications can be used if the phone is programmed before the trip starts so that it does not require any interaction during travel and the do not disturb mode is switched on.

The next phase of community consultation commenced with the annual ACT Road Safety Forum, which this year focused on the GLS reforms. I was joined by expert speakers in road safety to discuss the proposed model with key stakeholders. The forum was an opportunity for stakeholders to hear about the evidence and experiences of other jurisdictions when it comes to implementing strengthened GLS models. It


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