Last week Wallabies fullback and P-plate driver, Kurtley Beale, had a charge of driving a high-powered vehicle dismissed when it was revealed he had no idea he was prohibited from driving his turbocharged Maxda CX7.
Back in 2005 NSW introduced laws to prohibit P-plate drivers from driving ‘high-performance vehicles’.
The RTA website states:
“The prohibited vehicle condition restricts provisional (P1 and P2) drivers from driving certain high performance vehicles. The condition applies to provisional licences issued on or after 11 July 2005. The scheme aims to prohibit young driver access to vehicles that are overrepresented in young driver crashes.
Prohibited vehicles are those with:
- Eight or more cylinders (except diesel).
- A turbocharged engine (except diesel).
- A supercharged engine (except diesel).
- Engine performance modifications that require an engineers’ certificate.
- Certain high performance six-cylinder engine vehicles or other vehicles as described in the publication Novice Drivers – High Performance Vehicle Restrictions.
The following vehicles are not prohibited vehicles and may be driven by provisional licence holders:
Suzuki Cappuccino 2D Cabriolet Turbo 3 698cc (released between 1/01/1992 – 1/12/1997).
Daihatsu Copen L880 2D Convertible Turbo 4 659cc (released from 1/10/2003).
Smart vehicles (all models).
The RTA also provides a “guide to moderate performance vehicle exemptions” (which is mostly made up of small engine European vehicles) alongside its comprehensive list of banned vehicles.
Obviously the RTA has gone to a lot of effort in producing its “P1/P2 – Prohibited Eight Cylinder, Turbo and Supercharged High-Performance Vehicles” list, but the NRMA would like it to be updated to better reflect today’s motoring environment. There are many anomalies with this restriction that just don’t make practical sense.
For instance, a non P-plate legal Mazda CX7 (turbo) as driven by Beale will take around 10.3 seconds to reach 100km/h whereas a P-plate legal current-generation six-cylinder Ford Falcon will reach the legal limit in around 7.3 seconds. The turbocharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder VW Golf TSI Comfortline (0-100km/h in around 8.4 seconds) is banned yet the Mazda SP25 (0-100km/h in around 7.8 seconds) is legal.
Classic cars haven’t escaped the list either, with things like a 1962 Chevrolet Impala or 1961 Pontiac Parisenne also being off-limits to P-plate drivers.
But are these laws working and is there a better way to keep young drivers from being over represented in crash statistics?
Have you been affected by this law when it came to purchasing a new family car?