Unaccompanied learner drivers risking their lives

The State’s peak motoring body has slammed novice drivers who flouted the rules, after new figures revealed thousands of L-platers were caught driving without proper supervision.

Media release

Data from the Department of Transport and Main Roads and analysed by RACQ, revealed 9,706 learner drivers had been charged with unaccompanied driving offences between February 2017 and January 2019.

RACQ spokesperson Clare Hunter said 8,749 L-platers had been pulled over by police for driving without supervision, 858 were under the supervision of someone without an open licence and 99 were under the direction of someone not seated beside them.

“These are shocking statistics and there’s no excuse for this type of behaviour. While we understand many new drivers are keen to get behind the wheel, driving isn’t a right, it’s a privilege and a huge responsibility,” Ms Hunter said.

“Most learners are under the age of 25 and we know people in that age group are already over-represented when it comes to road deaths and serious injuries, so it’s vital our least experienced motorists are getting the right supervision before hitting the road on their own.

“It’s really scary thousands of Queenslanders with no experience have been driving unaccompanied on our roads, risking not only their own lives but the lives of others.”

Ms Hunter reminded parents and learners they could access a free driving lesson through the Keys2Drive program which could help iron out any queries they had about the road rules and the safest driver behaviours for young motorists.

“This program gives learner drivers a free driving lesson with a qualified instructor, so learners and their supervisors can be in the car together, learning at the same time,” she said.

“It’s important instructors and new drivers remember becoming competent behind the wheel isn’t just about ticking off a requirement, it’s about gaining experience in a range of situations and conditions.”