RACV calls for driving age to remain at 18

18 year old RACV driver

RACV is disappointed with the results of a State Parliament inquiry into lowering the driving age to 17.

The report by the Law Reform, Road and Community Safety Committee recommended the driving age be lowered from 18 to 17.

Brian Negus, RACV’s general manager of public policy, says RACV does not support the recommendation.

“Victoria has the best safety record of any state, why damage it?”

“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.”

Brian says an RACV survey of young people found while a lack of transport affected their social trips, only a few said it affected 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,” he says.

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

Driving age 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 driving age to 17, it has been estimated it would result in an increase of 10 fatalities, more than 240 serious injuries, and more than 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 it increased the minimum licensing age from 17 to 18 years, the state would see a 20 per cent reduction in casualty crashes among 16 to 24-year-old drivers, and a 5 to 6 per cent reduction in the annual road toll. (Dept for TEI, 2011)
Written by RACV
March 22, 2017