Victoria’s driving age should remain 18, says RACV

The RACV is disappointed with the report by the Law Reform, Road and Community Safety Committee recommending that the driving age be lowered from 18 to 17.

“The RACV does not support the recommendation to lower the driving age,” said Brian Negus, RACV General Manager Public Policy. “Licensing age should be based on evidence that puts the safety of all Victorians first. RACV does support the State Government creating incentives, for example a discount on registration, to get more young people into safer 5-star cars."

“Furthermore, an RACV survey of young people found that while a lack of transport affected their social trips, only a few said it impacted their ability to get employment. If transport is considered to be a problem, then governments need to provide better transport options in regional areas and improve timetable coordination between different modes of transport to meet the needs of young people,” concluded Mr Negus.

The RACV made a submission to the committee in April 2016 and testified before its members in June 2016. The submission can be found here

The facts:

  • While drivers aged 18 to 25 make up only 12 per cent of licence holders, they account for 20 per cent of fatalities on Victorian roads. (VicRoads)
  • If Victoria lowered the age to 17, it has been estimated that it would result in an increase of 10 fatalities, more than 240 serious injuries, and over 700 minor injuries each year. (VicRoads)
  • Based on projected trauma increases, the estimated increase in cost for one year to the Victorian community is approximately $247 million per year. (VicRoads)
  • South Australia estimated that if they increased the minimum licensing age from 17 to 18 years, the State would see a 20% reduction in casualty crashes among 16-24 year old drivers, and a 5-6% reduction in the annual road toll. (Dept for TEI, 2011)
Written by RACV Media Relations: (03) 9790 2572
March 22, 2017