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The ACT State Government has proposed a midnight curfew for P-Plate drivers, as part of a revised Graduated Licensing Scheme.

The push is a response to the Canberra road toll, and draws on “insights and experiences from across Australia” for inspiration. At the moment, probationary drivers represent 6.5 per cent of license holders in the ACT, but accounted for 14.6 per cent of drivers involved in fatal accidents.

Like much of the nation, the move would see a graduated licensing scheme, with different regulations for P1 and P2 drivers, introduced.

Young drivers would be forced onto a P1 license for one year, and a P2 license for two years.

P1 drivers would be limited to one passenger aged between 16 and 24 and wouldn’t be allowed to drive between midnight and 5am.

All L- and P-Plate drivers would be banned from using hands-free mobile phone systems, and all P-Platers would only get four demerit points across their three-year probationary period.

The changes extend beyond the P-Plate period. L-Platers would be forced to drive for 100 hours with a supervising driver, including 10 hours at night under the proposal. A hazard perception test would be added to the testing regime for P-Platers, too.

At the moment, the ACT has some of Australia’s most relaxed regulations for young drivers. L-Platers only need to hold their permit for six months, with no minimum amount of supervised driving.

By way of comparison, Victoria and New South Wales require 120 hours of supervised driving on L-Plates, while South Australia demands 75 hours.

Western Australia calls for 50 hours, as does Tasmania. Only the Northern Territory has the same rules as the ACT.

There are some similarities between the ACT and other states at the moment, although they’re few and far between. For one, P-Plate drivers must have a blood alcohol content of 0.0.

The ACT Government is seeking public feedback on its proposed reforms. You can have your say here.




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