Monitoring changes from 1999 to 2014 in the amount of supervised driving experience accrued by Victorian learner drivers
Keywords: Young Drivers
Newly-licensed drivers are over-represented in crashes. As higher levels of learner supervised driving are associated with a decreased crash risk post-licensing, road safety stakeholders have actively encouraged increased amounts of supervised driving since the mid 1990’s in Victoria, Australia. VicRoads introduced a mandatory minimum 120 hours supervised practice whilst on a learner permit in 2007._x000D_
The Victorian Learner Monitor survey has tracked changes in driving experience (both supervised practice and lessons with professional instructors) accumulated by different learner permit holders across the years 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2014. Each survey year, around 1300 Victorian learner drivers at different stages of learning to drive are surveyed, as well as 200 newly-licensed Victorian drivers. _x000D_
A study was undertaken to analyse changes in learner driver experience since the first wave of the Learner Monitor survey in terms of a) progress in achieving the minimum target of 120 hours practice over the entire permit period and, b) progress in increasing weekly driving practice – both the likelihood of such practice in every week and the average practice time in those weeks where there is some practice. _x000D_
This paper presents key findings from this study. Those aged 16 years at learner permit acquisition are now averaging 137 hours of practice. Those aged 17 at learner permit acquisition are now averaging 127 hours of practice. The results are discussed in terms of which learner subgroups require more targeted interventions to achieve the minimum supervised learner 120 hour practice target in Victoria.