As NSW school leavers let their hair down for Schoolies, police are urging young drivers to play it safe on the roads to make sure they make it to their destination alive.
An increased number of P-plate drivers will hit the streets over the coming day as they head towards the northern parts of NSW, including Byron Bay; and southern parts of Queensland, including the Gold Coast for the start of their celebrations on Saturday.
There’s been a near 40 per cent rise in road deaths involving 17-25 year-old drivers from the same time last year has prompted a NSW police plea for schoolies to take care on the road and for other motorists to keep an eye on the new drivers.
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With less experienced teenage drivers on roads and in unfamiliar surroundings police are urging all drivers to be vigilant.
As P-platers head to Schoolies, some drivers may have extended stints behind the wheel, experience fatigue and have difficulty concentrating on driving tasks.
Police are warning drivers not to use their mobile phones, speed or drink drive and reminding those travelling in groups to be aware of risky behaviour and peer pressure.
Superintendent Bob Ryan, Commander, Regional Highway Patrol, said drivers should be prepared when driving long distances for the first time, this may include shared driving and frequent stops and understand their choices and actions will have consequences.
“P-plate drivers travelling with passengers can significantly increase the chance of taking risks, with teenager drivers 30 times more likely to crash. It is important to identify risky behaviours and ensure they are avoided,” Superintendent Ryan said.
“Driving a car is a dangerous activity for anyone. Other road users deserve your full attention to driving when you are behind the wheel. By simply looking at your mobile phone for two seconds while you are driving at 60km/h is the equivalent of driving 33 metres blind.”
“As a driver, be sure to make good decisions about your speed, your level of tiredness and obeying all the road rules. They are there for your safety. A poor decision could result in a crash or worse, it could kill someone.”