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Development of the Australian Graduated Licensing Scheme Policy Framework: a demonstration of jurisdictions taking action together to reduce road trauma

Walker, E, Howard, E, Harris, A, Barnes, B, Parnell, H, Hinchcliff, R

General

ARSC conference 2015

One of the most effective measures to reduce crashes amongst young drivers is the implementation of a comprehensive Graduated Licensing Scheme (GLS). Yet while all Australian jurisdictions have some form of GLS in place, young drivers remain over-represented in crashes on Australian roads. This indicates that improvements to GLS models in each jurisdiction would be beneficial.

The Centre for Road Safety in Transport for New South Wales, on behalf of the Austroads Road Safety Taskforce, commissioned road safety consultants Eric Howard and Anne Harris to develop an evidence-informed GLS policy framework that can be applied across all Australian jurisdictions. The project involved a review of current Australian GLS arrangements, a discussion paper outlining key research findings and extensive consultation with road safety and licensing representatives from all jurisdictions.

The framework identifies fundamental GLS components to guide, rather than prescribe, the implementation of increasingly effective GLS models across Australia. The GLS components relate to key areas of focus that contribute to young driver crashes including age, experience, risk taking and licensing access and support. The framework outlines the features of progressively more comprehensive GLS models that address these issues (i.e. standard, enhanced and exemplar models) to account for the varied starting points across Australia and enable jurisdictions to make improvements gradually.

The Australian GLS Policy Framework was approved by the Transport Ministers of every jurisdiction. The success of this project demonstrates how policy agencies can take action together to reduce Australian road trauma, even when jurisdictions’ current policies differ considerably.