20 hours of night driving compulsory for learners from November 1
An independent review says Victoria's Graduated Licensing System is saving the lives of young drivers in the state.
Luke Donnellan, minister for roads and road safety, announced the results of the study this week - including the statistic that drivers who have been through the new system are 20 per cent less likely to be involved in a serious collision in their first two years of driving.
The study was commissioned by VicRoads, and found drivers forced to log at least 120 hours of supervised driving on their learners and complete the two-stage probationary licensing process have lower crash rates than those who haven't undertaken the Graduated Licensing System, demonstrating better driving behaviours in the process.
First-year P-platers have long been identified as the driver group most at risk of serious road accidents, and under the new system, these licence holders are 19 per cent less likely to be involved in a fatal or serious crash.
Additionally, limiting P1 drivers to one peer passenger aged between 16 and 22 is said to have been "highly effective", with the study showing that the rate of accidents while carrying two or more passengers has dropped by 70 per cent.
Learners are also spending more time on their L-plates, with 60 per cent of 18- to 20-year-olds holding a learner permit for at least 24 months, as opposed to 37 per cent under the old system.
However, it's not all good news. The report says more work needs to be done to reduce the crash rates of drivers aged between 21 and 23, while an increasing amount of P-platers are being fined for speeding and mobile phone use.
Recent initiatives include Road Smart, L2P and the Free Licence Scheme, with the Andrews Labor Government having invested $146 million in these training programs to help young drivers become safer.
From November 1, learners will be required to complete 20 hours of supervised night driving, up from the current 10.
"This independent evaluation shows that the Graduated Licensing System is working – saving lives and reducing the number of serious injury collisions for our youngest and most inexperienced drivers," said Donnellan.
"While these results are a ringing endorsement for our licensing system, we still have a lot of work to do – road crashes continue to be one of the leading causes of death for young people aged 18 to 25."