NEW LAWS: Rob Wells of the Southern Cross Learn About Drivig Skills (LADS).
NEW LAWS: Rob Wells of the Southern Cross Learn About Drivig Skills (LADS). Jay Cronan

P-plate drivers have power to choose after changes to law

ROB Wells has welcomed new NSW laws that will allow p-platers to drive some turbo and supercharged vehicles but the Lismore father said driver education should accompany the changes.

In 2006 Mr Well's son Bryce was one of four teenage boys killed in a horror smash on Broken Head Rd when the p-plate driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree.

Mr Wells said the additional cars approved for p-platers under the new law were "family cars" with a power to weight ratio of less than 130kw per tonne.

"Now you are getting cars that are four-cylinder family cars and they are super charging or turbo charging them to get the power to pull the weight," he said.

Secretary of the Southern Cross LADS driver education facility, Mr Wells said the critical factors in many fatalities were speeding and lack of driver education.

"It doesn't come down to the car, it comes down to educating the kids about speed and driving to the conditions," he said.

"Anyone can go fast, it's being able to handle that speed and what to do in a dangerous situation."

NSW Roads minister Duncan Gay said the reforms follow a re-evaluation of high-performance cars.

"The previous blanket ban on p-platers driving super-charged or turbocharged vehicles was put in place when the features on these cars were only used to enhance speed and acceleration," he said.

"These days, for many vehicles in this category it is about fuel efficiency not speed and acceleration so it was appropriate we revisit the ban in light of the fact many of these vehicles are low performance with modern, effective safety features.

"The new rules to be introduced from 1 August will provide p-platers and their families with 6500 more options while helping to ensure they can stay safe."

To check what cars p-platers are eligible to drive under the new laws visit roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au.



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