Making our roads safer
By JADE BILOWOL
DARRYL Porter and Ange Duvall have labelled the Queensland Government's L-plate trial as "vital to stemming aggression" and enhancing safety on Gold Coast's roads.
Queensland is currently the only Australian state that doesn't require learner drivers and motorcyclists to display L-plates on their vehicles but from January 31 that will change.
Under the three-year trial announced by Transport Minister Paul Lucas, learners and their accompanying driver will each be fined $120 for failing to display L-plates.
Mr Lucas said the trial would help determine whether to reintroduce L-plates and P-plates in Queensland.
Mr Porter, the director of Palm Beach-based Allroads Driving School, said the trial was "well and truly overdue".
"It will really bring us into line with the rest of Australia and other drivers will be much more understanding if a learner driver makes a mistake or drives irrationally," he said.
"They won't be subject to abuse and they won't get flustered because that causes problems - it will prevent aggression on the road."
Mr Porter said the onus was on the Queensland Government to follow the example set by other states and introduce P-plates to further increase safety on the roads.
Ms Duvall, a 17-year-old learner driver, said she had seen some of her friends cop abuse from drivers who probably would have been less aggressive if they had seen the tell-tale L-plates.
"I know the difference - I've been with a friend who has driven with L-plates and she did not get abused but got on with the job," she said.
Between 1999 and 2003, 402 Queenslanders aged between 17 and 24 years were killed on the road while a further 7095 were injured or hospitalised.
"It's a sad fact - young drivers are more likely to die in a road crash in Queensland than any other age group," Mr Lucas said.
Six times more provisional licence holders have been killed than learners since 1999.