This paper overviews the mandatory conditions and restrictions applied within graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs throughout Australasia, focusing upon changes in Australia since 2009, in addition to the GDL program in New Zealand. Important changes relate to increased restrictions on demerit point thresholds, limits to blood alcohol content for supervisory drivers, a no drug-driving policy, and increased restrictions regarding all mobile phone usage, while increases were introduced to mandated supervised driving hours and holding period. Changes to the GDL programs in the last decade are largely positive and have contributed to significant decreases in road crash injuries and fatalities in young novice drivers. Interestingly, however a number of Australasian jurisdictions do not meet the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety GDL rating system criteria for a ‘good’ GDL program. As such, some jurisdictions could benefit from tighter regulations, particularly in regards to night-time and passenger restrictions and increased holding periods.
Journal of the Australasian College of Road Safety / Vol. 27, No. 4, pp.15-22