Road Safety Minister Liza Harvey has dumped the Government's plan to tighten restrictions on how many passengers P-plate drivers can carry between 9pm and midnight.
The U-turn comes after her predecessor, Rob Johnson, announced in April the Government would introduce the restrictions because of "evidence-based" advice from the Road Safety Council.
Following a recommendation pushed by the Road Safety Council since 2005, Mr Johnson's plan was to restrict novice drivers in the first six months of having their licence to carrying no more than one passenger under 21 in their car between 9pm and midnight, unless there were exemptions relating to getting to and from study or employment.
The restriction already applies to those drivers between midnight and 5am.
In April, the Road Safety Council said the restrictions would "considerably reduce the crash risk" but Mrs Harvey said she had asked it to review the advice, giving consideration to its "social impost".
"When we had a look at the actual statistics, there was no discernable difference between novice drivers who were on their own and novice drivers who had passengers as far as serious trauma (hospital) admissions and fatalities," Mrs Harvey said yesterday.
"When you balance that against the social impost of restricting the movement of these young people and restricting what they can do in vehicles, the Road Safety Council reassessed it and withdrew their recommendation."
Shadow road safety minister Michelle Roberts said Labor intended to introduce the 9pm to midnight restrictions if it won the election.
"All the evidence we've seen is that the peer passenger restrictions save lives," she said.
"It's been put in place in every other State I'm aware of. On that basis we would implement the restrictions."
Auditor-General Colin Murphy criticised the lack of controls for the Road Trauma Trust Fund, which will receive every dollar of the projected $84 million in speed and red light camera revenue this year.
Mr Murphy said the Road Safety Council had no master action plan for its Towards Zero road safety strategy.He said the council was failing to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of road safety measures because project reporting was patchy.
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