- Vic learners could get Ps earlier under liberal schemes.
- Labor trashed the idea on social media.
- Will place Victoria in line with other jurisdictions nationally.
The Victorian Liberals have outlined plans to allow learner drivers to get their probationary license at 17 instead of 18 if the party wins tomorrow’s state election.
Liberal leader Matthew Guy made the pledge on Thursday night, just two days before Victorians go to the polls to vote.
According to the party, lowering the probationary driving age will reduce the effects of isolation and disadvantage for those living in regional areas where long distances are required, and where public transport services are unavailable.
Guy said that the project will help more youth to work.
“We trust young Victorians to make the right decisions down the road,” the leader said.
“This simple, common-sense change will mean Victorians are no longer a disadvantage to other states, and bring us on par with the rest of the country.”
The move will bring Victoria into line with other states and territories nationally as it is the only jurisdiction in Australia that still requires probationary driver license holders to be 18 years or older.
In South Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales, ACT, Tasmania and Queensland the age to apply for your Ps is already 17.
While living in the Northern Territory you can apply for a probationary license at age 16 provided you have held a learner’s license for at least six months and meet other requirements.
A statement from the Liberals said despite the difference in age requirements, road accident data did not indicate Victorian drivers were safer than those in other states.
Shadow Minister for Police, Brad Button, said younger drivers could be trained to become better and safer drivers.
“This rule has held back too many young Victorians for too long, particularly those living along the border,” he said.
“Our plan to provide simulated driver training to students will produce the first better, safer drivers on our roads.
“By lowering the driving age, we’re opening up a world of work and study opportunities for 17-year-olds.”
However, the Victorian Labor Party rejected the plans by posting a photo of a crashed car on Twitter with the caption: ‘Matthew Guy’s Liberals want to lower driving age. His last shadow minister for road safety was Tim Smith.’
The former Kew member resigned as shadow attorney-general last year. His car crashed into a car and then the wall of a house in Melbourne’s inner east.