ROAD SMART: Ali Winkler, of Lismore, pictured with her Subaru WRX, has been on P-plates since  December and, as the driver of a
ROAD SMART: Ali Winkler, of Lismore, pictured with her Subaru WRX, has been on P-plates since December and, as the driver of a

Ali happy she doesn?t have to face new rules

By LEONIE BRANN

ALI WINKLER says she would not know what to do if she wasn't allowed to drive her high-performance Subaru Impreza WRX.

The 22-year-old P-plater, who got her P1 licence in December last year, would be banned from driving the hotted-up sedan.

Changes to P1 and P2 licences take effect on July 11.

If Ali was not getting her licence until after that date she also would not qualify for an employment exemption because she and her fiance also own a small-engined car.

"I drive the WRX to work, but I would have to drive our small car to work if the changes affected me," the Lismore hairdresser said.

"We use the WRX as our 'going out' car, so if we were affected I would not be able to drive home if my fiance wanted to have a drink.

"It's about the maturity of the driver. Even someone who has been driving for years can be dangerous in a high-powered vehicle with the wrong attitude."

The State Government announced recently P-platers will be banned from driving highperformance and high-powered vehicles, with exemptions offered to some P-platers for employment reasons, and for isolated country drivers who have access only to a performance or large-engined vehicles.

New P-platers who have access only to a low-powered, turbocharged vehicle, if registered in their parents' name, can also apply for an exemption from the RTA for $23.

Individual applications for each high-powered vehicle will be required.

Member for Ballina Don Page said the exemptions further discriminated against country P-platers who may not have access to more than one vehicle, or may not have enough money to pay the $23 exemption fee.

"If they are worthy for the exemption then they should not have to pay for it," he said.

Ali disagrees that youth makes young drivers a hazard behind the wheel of performance vehicles, and thinks the changes will penalise drivers, like herself, who take to the wheel when they are older.

"I know that the WRX has a lot of power, but it's about taking responsibility for your actions and knowing they have reactions," Ali said.

What do you think?

Phone the Star Feedback line on 6624 3266 or email opin- ions@northernstar.com.au



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