Issues & initiatives for young drivers

At VicRoads we take road safety very seriously. That’s why we've developed a range of initiatives addressing the unique safety issues faced by young and new drivers.

Safety issues for young drivers

Young drivers are consistently over-represented in Victorian road fatalities and crashes. Research shows that the main causes of this are:

  • inexperience 
  • exposure to challenging driving conditions like late-night driving and multiple passengers 
  • drink driving and drug driving 
  • driving while fatigued 
  • mobile phone use 
  • disobeying road rules – commonly by speeding, tailgating and failing to give way
  • driving older cars with less safety features.

Safety initiatives for young and new drivers

To improve safety for young and new drivers, VicRoads has developed a range of initiatives. Our current safety programs focus on:

  • encouraging learner driver experience, with an emphasis on 120 hours driving practice
  • education through school and community programs
  • licence tests and restrictions that minimise high-risk driving (high powered vehicle and zero BAC restrictions)
  • penalties and incentives to encourage safer driving
  • an improved Graduated Licensing System

Involving parents

Research suggests that parents can play an important role in their child’s safety on the roads. 

The Transport Accident Commission’s (TAC) ‘Safer P Platers’ campaign is designed to inform parents of the unique risks faced by young drivers and provide them with a range of strategies to improve their children’s safety. VicRoads was a key contributor to this campaign alongside the RACV. For more information visit (External link).

Increasing learner driver experience

We encourage young drivers to get as much experience as they can while they’re on their Ls. We actively promote this through a range of initiatives including:

  • free Learner Kits - providing essential information for learner drivers and their supervising drivers
  • Your Ls - planning to learn to drive for the first time, find out how to get your car learner permit and what your responsibilities are
  • L2P - supervised driving programs for disadvantaged young people
  • Fit to Drive (External link) - a community road safety program
  • keys2drive - an Australian Government funded program providing learners and their supervisors with a free driving lesson
  • DriveSmart (External link)- a free online program to help develop hazard perception, scanning and concentration skills. 

Education resources and programs

We provide a wide range of educational resources for young people in cooperation with a number of partner agencies. To find out more about these programs, visit Road Safety Education.

Licence tests and penalties

Our licence tests and penalties are designed to encourage safer driving. Our current initiatives include:

  • updated learner and hazard perception licence tests 
  • online practice Learner Permit tests 
  • lower demerit point limits for L and P drivers 
  • a graduated licensing structure including: 
    • a minimum 12 month learner permit period 
    • compulsory 120 hours of supervised driving experience 
    • a new P1 (one year) and P2 (three year) probationary licence system that allows drivers to move to less restrictive conditions as their experience increases. 

Rewarding responsible young drivers 

The Government has committed to rewarding our most responsible young drivers with a free three-year licence (known as the Free Licence Scheme) which was launched on 16 December 2015. Under this commitment, young drivers who have completed four years on P plates with no traffic-related offences will be eligible for a free licence when they graduate from their probationary licence. 

The Regulatory Impact Statement for the scheme was created and then approved by the Minister on 4 November 2015. Read more about the Free Licence Scheme.

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