Downs reacts to free licence plan for safe young drivers

A PROPOSED driving incentive to encourage young drivers to behave behind the wheel is drawing widespread support from Southern Downs residents.

Under the plan, announced by Premier Campbell Newman on the weekend, young drivers who complete their learner and provisional licences without losing any demerit points would be given a free open licence for three years.

AG Licensing driver trainer Andrew Gale has welcomed the plan, describing it as a fantastic incentive for young drivers who are most vulnerable.

"Young people are over represented in the road toll statistics," he said.

"This is something we've been lobbying for as driving trainers - it's really worthwhile."

The Young Driver Reward Scheme would save an eligible driver the $118 fee charged for a three year open licence, according to Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg.

"Young country drivers with a good driving record deserve the reward," he said.

"On the Downs and across Queensland, drivers aged between 16 and 24 make up about a quarter of road fatalities. It is a tragedy that too many young lives are lost and through this initiative, we can take steps to help turn the problem around."

Mr Springborg said the plan would send a really positive message to young drivers on the Southern Downs.

"People say we should have an incentive system and I think it's a really great idea," he said.

"This is a different way of doing things and I think it will be really welcomed by young drivers.

"For many parents, the Young Driver Reward Scheme will provide cost of living relief after all the time, money and effort invested in teaching teenagers to drive safely."

As a driving instructor working with inexperienced and learner drivers, Mr Gale said he was always bemused by young people boasting about losing demerit points.

"Our P-platers are most likely to get into trouble - it can be a vicious cycle," he said.

"Rather than bragging about losing points, young people can brag about saving money on their licences."

Despite the announcement, Mr Gale said it could be taken further and extended to everyone road user, regardless of age.

"Rightly it's a way of rewarding drivers who have obeyed the law - I'd like to see it expanded to everyone," he said.

"We don't have any incentive and I believe there should be some sort of discount.

"Why shouldn't everyone get a licence discount for doing the right thing?"

TELL us what you think? Would the free licence incentive change your driving behaviour?

Join the conversation on the Warwick Daily News Facebook page or on Twitter @warwick_daily.

Topics:  driving queensland election 2015 warwick

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