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So, the crash rate's down, where to from here?

McDougall, J



The last two years have seen some massive changes to young driver licensing and licence conditions, not only in New South Wales, but in all Australian jurisdictions. This article concentrates on the changes and initiatives that have occurred in New South Wales in 2007 and 2008 and has some suggestions as to where young driver safety should progress from here.

Perhaps the most significant change in New South Wales has been the major change to the driving test, initially rolled out in the country areas and finally introduced in the Sydney Metropolitan area in December 2007. As the test has the potential to dictate whatever training and education is obtained by new drivers, it was always going to have the ability to change where the emphasis on road safety should be placed. An analysis of the crash statistics in New South Wales (Roads and Traffic Authority) shows that young driver crashes fall into five main categories and the test was designed to concentrate on the ways to avoid these five main crash types.

Other changes introduced in July 2007 may have had some effect on the crash rate for young drivers in a period when the death rate for crashes in all age groups has been the lowest for many years.