Confederation of Australian Motor Sports (CAMS), President Andrew Papadopoulos believes the younger they learn the more respect they'll have for the road.“When they do get on the road they have the experience, they have the ability, they have the attitude to make them good drivers," Mr Papadopoulos said.
Drivers under the age of 24 are twice as likely to die or be injured due to bad decisions while driving.“The first six months of driving by themselves is the highest accident rate the statistics show. We want to give them experience beforehand so that peak of accidents doesn't happen when they get their P-plates," Mr Papadopoulos said.
CAMS want the kids to start driving as soon as they hit high school nationwide.More stories from Today Tonight
Motoring expert John Cadogan is against the proposed plan.“It’s absolutely a mistake to lower the licencing age," Mr Cadogan said.
He is well aware the program is currently designed to stay within school hours and off main roads, but alarm bells are still ringing.“If we start getting 14 and 15-year-olds behind the wheel and that becomes common place, it opens the door to crackpot lobby groups advocating young drivers to be licenced, and that is flat out a mistake," Mr Cadogan said.
Dr Mathew Buldock from the Automotive Safety Research Centre at Adelaide University goes further - he wants the age limit for driving raised.“All the evidence suggests that you increase the driver age to limit the exposure to risk and you very, very gradually lift restrictions on younger drivers so they become skilled drivers with reduced opportunity to risk," Dr Buldock said.
Put simply, children aged 12 to 15 aren't mature enough or experienced to make the right decisions in life, let alone behind the wheel.
A study of young driver accidents from 1998 to 2011 found that 70 per cent of fatalities occurred due to bad decisions behind the wheel and fatigue is just as big a killer for young people as speeding and drink driving.Dr Buldock is hoping parents and children become street smart. His advice is to ensure:
1. No more than one young passenger with a young driver at any one time
2. Girls should focus on handling skills, boys on decision making
3. Different road conditions including heavy rain, heavy traffic and country roads are experienced
4. Good vehicle maintenance is maintained.
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