A report by the Federal Government’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, ‘Young Adults and Road Safety’, found the number of road crash fatalities involving motorists aged 15-24 fell 29 per cent from 2007 to 2012 (385 to 273).
The decrease puts young people ahead of 35-54-year-old motorists (down 25 per cent to 334 deaths) and 25-34-year-olds (down 23 per cent to 248) as the most improved age group over the past five years.
The decline has been even greater over the past decade, with a 39 per cent reduction in the number of 15-24-year-olds killed on our roads since 2002.
The statistics show young people are still over-represented compared to other age groups, however, with the population-based rate for road deaths of young adults 56 per cent higher than for all age groups.
The report acknowledges that there are now much more stringent rules for novice drivers holding Learner and Provisional licences than there were 10 years ago, suggesting the tightened laws are likely to be at least partially responsible for the reduced number of deaths among young motorists.
A press release issued by Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss says educating young drivers and equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to remain safe on the road is vital, and one of the reasons the Coalition Government has invested another $10 million into the Keys2Drive program.