If you are on your L or P-plates, be warned: ACT Policing has you in their sights.
Throughout October, ACT Policing will be focusing on L and P-plate drivers as part of the joint ACT Road Safety Strategy.
The warning comes as police gear up for double demerit points for all drivers this long weekend.
The double demerit period began today (2 October), and will end at 11:59 pm on Monday, 5 October.
Officer in Charge of Road Policing Detective Inspector Marcus Boorman said the long weekend was not the time to put other drivers and your licence at risk.
“Double demerits are not in place to punish drivers doing the wrong thing, they are an incentive over and above the normal system for drivers to ensure they drive more safely during busy periods on our roads,” Detective Inspector Boorman said.
He said, while the majority of young drivers aim to drive safely and responsibly, there continue to be risks, such as an inability to identify and respond to hazards, inexperience, over-confidence and deliberate risk-taking.
Speed continues to be the biggest issue for young drivers. A total of 436 P-plate drivers have been issued a Traffic Infringement Notice (TIN) for speeding this year, including 22 detected travelling more than 45 km/h over the speed limit.
Additionally, 31 P-plate drivers have been issued a TIN for improper use of a motor vehicle, 89 for not displaying their P-plates, and 50 caught using their mobile phone while driving.
Det Insp Boorman said teaching young drivers the right way to drive was crucial, and it started at home.
“Parents have a massive role to play in teaching their children about the right way to behave behind the wheel,” he said.
“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility whether you’ve been driving for one month or 20 years.
“Younger drivers often have very little experience with things like driver fatigue, driving at night and carrying passengers, so it’s important to expose them to a wide range of driving scenarios and conditions while they’re learning.
“For P-platers taking their first steps as an unsupervised driver, the best thing to do is use commonsense when behind the wheel.
“Be aware of and stay focused on the road and your surroundings, as well as other cars on the road, and always drive to the conditions. Make sure you and your passengers are wearing a seatbelt, and stay off your mobile phone.
“I know young people want to have fun with their friends, but please also remember that alcohol and driving are a dangerous combination. If you’re driving, don’t drink – the alcohol limit for L and P-plate drivers is 0.00. If you are drinking, don’t drive. I can’t be any clearer than that.”