Stop tailgating L and P plate drivers: NRMA survey

16 September 2018
L Plate on rear of car

New research conducted by NRMA has found Learner and Provisional licence holders in NSW have overwhelmingly experienced tailgating and other forms of dangerous behaviour from other drivers while driving at their restricted speed limits.

An NRMA survey of 1,486 Members found 93 per cent of L and P drivers had been tailgated by other drivers while they were driving at their restricted speed limit and almost 45 per cent said it happened ‘always’.

In NSW, L and P1 drivers have a restricted speed limit to a maximum of 90 km/hr. P2 drivers have a speed limit of 100 km/hr.

The NRMA research also found:

  • 94 per cent of L and P drivers have been overtaken in a dangerous manner
  • 65 per cent have been honked and flashed at (lights); and
  • 50 per cent have been yelled at and abused
NRMA driver training provides young drivers with professional instruction through 20 schools across NSW and the ACT. Last year, over 8,500 learner students were taught by NRMA instructors. The NRMA’s curriculum focuses on safety as well as the practical skills required to pass the test.

NRMA Driving Instructor Noor Sheerazi said tailgating and verbally abusing young people as they practised their driving skills amounted to little more than ‘behind-the-wheel bullying’ and occurred far too often.

“I have spent thousands of hours with young drivers as they develop their driving skills and some of the behaviour I have seen by other drivers is out-and-out road rage – and all because the student wasn’t moving fast enough to their liking – it’s really dangerous,” Ms Sheerazi said.

“NSW has restricted speed limits for L and P1 drivers so in the first instance taking your frustrations out on them is illegal and just wrong. Even if there weren’t speed limit restrictions this behaviour would be completely unacceptable.

“L and P plate drivers are our most inexperienced drivers. Getting behind the wheel can be daunting enough. Please don’t make it worse by tailgating, aggressively overtaking, beeping your horn or abusing them.”

The NRMA research found the community was split on the issue of allowing L and P drivers to drive at the posted speed limit, with 52 per cent opposed and 48 per cent in favour. Of those in favour, the main reasons were keeping up with traffic (56%) and reducing the risk of unsafe overtaking by other drivers (52%).

The survey also found that 41 per cent of people had felt frustrated stuck behind a learner or provisional driver who was driving at a restricted speed limit.

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