Hundreds of young drivers die or are injured from horrifying car crashes on Australian roads every year, almost all of them are preventable. ‘Young drivers represent 13% of licensed drivers, yet they are involved in 26% of all fatal crashes...’- Sydney Morning Herald 2010. The Australian Government is continually researching multiple new strategies in hopes to reduce this statistic. This essay will critically evaluate two of the current and suggested strategies and try to determine each one’s effectiveness.
One suggested strategy is the introduction of night curfews for P platers. This is because statistics show a high proportion of young drivers are involved in night time crashes. Currently the only state in Australia where night curfews exist is Western Australia (for the first 6 months of provisional licenses). Other states including NSW are considering or have considered similar proposals.
Those parties supporting night curfews suggest there is a clear link between the existence of night curfews and a reduction in crash rates. For instance, in North Carolina the introduction of a night time curfew caused a 43% reduction in night time crash rates - Foss, Feagnes and Rodgman, 2001. Similar studies have been conducted in Australia.
Motoring groups (such as the NRMA) have not been supportive of the proposal as they have questioned the evidence put forward. For example there is another study conducted in the United States to “examine the involvement of 16 to 19 year old drivers in fatal crashes between the hours of 10:00pm and 6:00am”. The analysis examined crash rates in 40 participating US states over a three year period (1999 to 2001). The results showed that, controlling the correct variables such as licensure rates and reference crash rates, the presence of a night time curfew in a state is linked with lower night time crash rates. However this association was not found to be statistically significant.
There is also strong...
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