Eyes on the Road

Eyes on the Road Stacked logo

Welcome to Eyes on the Road – a monthly road safety message campaign proudly presented by NSW Police - Macarthur Highway Patrol, Camden and Campbelltown Council’s.

Published the second Monday of every month on Camden and Campbelltown Council's Facebook page as well as here, Eyes on the Road highlights local, timely and relevant road safety issues with the aim of increasing road safety awareness and reducing road trauma.

This month we’re highlighting alcohol and drugs.

 

 

 

Alcohol and drugs

In 2021, 54 people were killed, and 303 seriously injured in alcohol related crashes in NSW. Did you know that having alcohol and drugs in your system increases your chance of having a crash by 23 times!

During summer and the festive season there is a marked increase in alcohol and drug related crashes, so while we want everyone to enjoy themselves, we want this to happen responsibly and safely.

To assist in reducing the road toll, NSW Police will be increasing random alcohol and drug testing across the state during the festive season.  Macarthur Highway Patrol will be working closely with police from Camden and Campbelltown Police Area Commands in December and January to focus their attention on clubs, pubs and hotels.

Roads leading from licensed premises to residential areas will be targeted by police, especially roads leading to the more rural areas. These quieter back roads have seen terrible fatal and serious crashes in the past. To help prevent further fatalities, Macarthur Highway Patrol will be increasing their presence and enforcement in those areas.

The easiest way to not get arrested for drink or drug affected driving is to not consume alcohol or take drugs when you know that you are going to drive.  If you are planning to have a night out and enjoy a drink you should:

  • Leave the car at home;
  • Catch a taxi or Uber;
  • Use public transport;
  • See if a courtesy bus service is available to take you home at the end of the night; or
  • Book accommodation close by or stay at a friend’s house.

Most importantly, pre plan your night and if it involves drinking or taking drugs, don’t take the car!

It is important to remember that alcohol can take many hours to leave your system. Cold showers, coffee, food or other ‘tricks’ do not reduce your blood alcohol level - the only solution is time. 

This is even more the case with illegal drugs. Did you know cocaine and methylamphetamine can be detected in your saliva for several days after consumption?

At the lowest level, if you are arrested for drink or drug driving, you will lose your licence and be fined $500.  The penalties increase from there.  Repeated or high range offences can see you losing your licences for many years and spending time in gaol.  The effect losing your licence can have on your employment can also have flow on effects to your personal and home life.

We all have the responsibility to keep every road user safe this festive season.  Think of one of your loved ones sharing the road with an alcohol or drug affected driver and how you would feel if that selfish driver caused the death or serious injury to them.  You can keep everybody safe if you say no to alcohol or drug driving.

Previous Editions

December 2021 - Alcohol and Drugs

In 2019 alone, 61 people were killed, and 285 seriously injured in alcohol related crashes in NSW.  During summer and the festive season there is a marked increase in alcohol and drug related crashes, so while we want you all to enjoy yourself, we want this to happen responsibly and safely.

To address this trend and assist in reducing the road toll, NSW Police increase Random Breath and Drug testing across the state during the festive season. 

Macarthur Highway Patrol will be working closely with Police from Camden and Campbelltown Area Commands to focus our attention on licensed premises as well as roads leading from these premises to residential areas, especially rural roads in the Macarthur region. These quieter back roads have seen some terrible fatal and serious crashes in the past and our hope is that we can prevent further fatalities by increasing Police presence and enforcement activity in those areas.

The easiest way to not get arrested for drink or drug affected driving is to not consume alcohol or take drugs when you know that you are going to drive. 

If you are planning to have a night out and enjoy a drink you should:

  • Leave the car at home;
  • Catch a Taxi or Uber;
  • Use public transport;
  • Call ahead to where you will be drinking and ask if they have a courtesy bus service to take you home at the end of the night; or
  • Book a room near where your party is or stay at a friend’s house.

Most importantly, pre plan your night and if it involves drinking or taking drugs, don’t take the car!

It is also important to remember that alcohol can take many hours to leave your system. Cold showers, coffee, food or other ‘tricks’ cannot reduce your blood alcohol level - the only solution is time.  This is even more so the case with illegal drugs. 

Did you know cocaine and methylamphetamine can be detected in your saliva at a testing site several days after consumption?

At the lowest level, if you are arrested for drink or drug driving you will lose your licence and be fined $500.  The penalties increase from there.  Repeated or high range offences can see you lose your licence for many years and even spend time in gaol.  The effect losing your licence can have on your employment can also have flow on effects to your personal and home life.

We all have a responsibility to keep every road user safe this festive season.  Think of one of your loved ones sharing the road with an alcohol or drug affected driver and how you would feel if that selfish driver caused the death or serious injury to them.  You can keep everybody safe if you say no to alcohol or drug driving.

Plan B

January 2022 - Caravans and Road Trips

It has been a hard year and you’ve decided that you’re ready to hook up the caravan and go on a road trip. But are you actually ready?

Unfortunately, all too often family holidays come to a sudden and dramatic end on the road - the caravan on its side, and belongings strewn along the road. Definitely not the relaxing holiday planned.

Between 2016 and 2020, there were 215 casualty crashes involving a vehicle towing a caravan on NSW roads. These crashes resulted in 17 fatalities and 116 serious injuries.

So how do you avoid this happening to you and your family? Here are some things you need to consider before you set off with your vehicle and caravan.

  • Fatigue is one of the three big killers on NSW roads. Towing a caravan can be more tiresome than just driving a car as it requires more concentration and effort. Plan your trip – allow extra travel time and plenty of regular breaks. Tie your breaks in with the sights and scenery along your trip.

  • Are you suitably skilled and licenced to drive the tow vehicle and the attached caravan up to highway speeds and on varying road types? Your vehicle behaves differently when towing a caravan so you need to be sure you can brake safely in an emergency situation. Make sure you practice reversing your caravan before hitting the road. If this is an area you feel you could do with some training, there are towing education companies who can teach you these skills.

  • Is your tow vehicle and caravan in a serviceable and roadworthy condition? It’s your responsibility to make sure your caravan is safe. Your tow vehicle must be registered and legally allowed to tow your loaded caravan. Check the condition, age, tread wear and pressures of your tyres before you leave. It’s also a good idea to get your wheel bearings serviced and have your brakes adjusted and tested before heading out. You should also check you have suitable mirrors and that a functioning trailer brake controller is fitted.

  • Is your towing vehicle and caravan loaded correctly? Think about load distribution and the total weight. You do not want the caravan controlling the towing vehicle. A Public Weighbridge is a facility you can use to obtain your actual weights of your loaded towing vehicle and loaded caravan.

You can find the specific towing ratings from the manufacturer of your tow vehicle, caravan and the tow bar attachment. These ratings include items such as: tare weight, gross vehicle mass, gross combination mass, ball weight, aggregate trailer mass and gross trailer mass.

For more information check out following links:

February 2022 - School Zones

Did you know children are most at risk of being injured by a vehicle in the minutes after getting off a bus?

Schools are areas where there is a lot of interaction between vehicles and children. Driving safely in these areas is vital for the safety of children, parents, and teachers.

With students now back in schools, Macarthur Highway Patrol together with Camden and Campbelltown Councils, will be working closely with our local schools to address bus safety in school zones.   

Buses are large heavy vehicles that can’t stop quickly so it is important to remember the following:

  • Reduce speed to 40km/h when bus lights are flashing, whether the bus is stationary or moving
  • Give way to buses
  • Watch out for children on footpaths or crossing the road
  • Never park in or near a bus stop or bus zone.

Some driving offences committed within a school zone carry additional demerit points.

There are many ways parents can help reduce the risk of injury to children when helping them get on and off a school bus.

  • When waiting for the bus, stand at least one step back from the edge of the road
  • Always meet your child at the bus stop. Never meet them on the opposite side of the road and call them across
  • Wait until the bus has gone, then choose a safe place to cross the road.

Remember to:

  • Always STOP one step back from the kerb.
  • Always LOOK continuously both ways.
  • Always LISTEN for the sounds of approaching traffic
  • Always THINK whether it is safe to cross and keep checking until safely across.

We all have a responsibility to keep every child safe on our roads. Children learn safe road user habits from us so it is important to model safe pedestrian behaviour. 

Until your child is at least eight years old, hold their hand on the footpath, in the carpark, and when crossing the road. Up until at least ten years old, always supervise your child closely and hold their hand when crossing the road.

School Zones times are generally between 8am – 9.30am and 2.30pm – 4pm, Monday to Friday. It is important to check the signs as some rural schools have different times.

March 2022 - Road Rules Awareness Week

Road Rules Awareness Week, 22 – 28 March, is a great time to take a look at some NSW most misunderstood road rules.

  1. Roundabouts
    If you thought that upon approaching a roundabout the rule is to give way to vehicles on your right, you would be wrong.

    The rule is that a driver must give way to vehicles already in the roundabout.

    Drivers may change lanes in a roundabout (usual rules apply) and just like exiting any road, drivers must indicate left when leaving a roundabout.

  2. Giving way to pedestrians when turning.
    If a driver is turning at an intersection (left or right), the driver must give way to any pedestrians that are crossing the road the driver is entering.

  3. Mobile Phones
    Fully licensed drivers and bicycle riders may only use a mobile phone whilst driving/riding to make or answer calls or use the audio function if the phone:
    - Is secured in a commercially manufactured mounting device which is fixed to the vehicle and doesn’t obscure the drivers view;
    - Can be operated by the driver/rider without touching any part of the phone (e.g. by using Bluetooth or Apple/Android Car Play);

    The only exception to this is the use of a drivers aid such as a navigational device providing the device is in a fixed mounting bracket as described above.

    Being stationary in a line of traffic does not constitute being parked and the above rules still apply.

    Learner, P1, P2 and motorcycle license holders are not permitted to use any function of a phone whilst driving or riding. This includes listening to music being played through the vehicle that originates from the mobile phone.

  4. Merging when lanes end
    When driving on a multi-lane road and the left lane ends, the driver in the left lane must merge into the right lane.

    If there are no dividing lane lines at the point where merging occurs, the vehicle in front has right of way.

    If the lanes are clearly separated by a dividing lane line, then normal rules apply for changing lanes.

  5. Keeping left
    On multi-lane roads with speed limits above 80km/h, a driver must not drive in the right lane unless:
    - Overtaking;
    - Turning right or making a U turn;
    - Avoiding an obstacle; and
    - Driving in congested traffic.

  6. Using high beam headlights and fog lights
    A driver must not use high beam if travelling within 200 metres of another vehicle whether the other vehicle is travelling in the same direction or the opposite direction.

    Fog lights are only permitted to be used in fog, mist or other atmospheric conditions that restricts visibility.

  7. U turns
    U turns are only permitted in NSW where a driver has a clear view of approaching traffic and the U turn can be made without obstructing traffic. The driver making the U turn must give way to all other vehicles and pedestrians. In NSW U turns are not permitted:
    - At an intersection;
    - At a break in a dividing strip where a 'No U Turn' sign is displayed; and
    - Across double unbroken lines or any other continuous dividing line.

  8. Safe following distances
    Drivers must leave enough distance between themselves and the vehicle in front to ensure they can stop in time to avoid a collision.

    Safe following distances vary depending on:
    - Road and weather conditions;
    - The vehicles breaking performance;
    - Tyre condition and pressures;
    - Speed; and
    - Driver's reaction times, to name a few.

    A recommended safe distance to the vehicle in front is a three second gap. To achieve this, drivers can pick out a point on the side of the road such as a telegraph pole. When the vehicle in front passes that point, the driver can then count one thousand and one, one thousand and two, and one thousand and three. If your vehicle passes that same point when you have reached one thousand and three, you are approximately three seconds behind the vehicle in front of you.

    In poor weather conditions or on gravel roads, the gap should be increased.

  9. School Zones
    Roads bordering schools in NSW have designated school zone areas marked by signage. Between the School Zone and End School Zone signs, the speed limit is reduced to 40km/h during school zone times.

    These times are between 8am and 9.30am and 2.30pm and 4pm Monday to Friday during school terms including Pupil Free days.

  10. Yellow/Amber traffic light signals
    All drivers should be aware that a yellow/amber traffic light signal means stop.

    You are only permitted to drive through a yellow/amber light if it is unsafe to stop in the circumstances.

    Penalties for not stopping at a yellow/amber light are the same as not stopping at a red light which is currently $469 and 3 demerit points.

April 2022 - Seniors Road Safety

Did you know the number of fatalities for older road users has gradually increased over the past decade while fatalities overall have generally decreased by around 3% per year?

As we get older our awareness, decision making skills and physical capabilities decline and we seemingly find it difficult to keep up with ever increasing changes in the community.

Some personal considerations for seniors relating to road safety include:

  • Decreased vision;
  • Slower reaction time;
  • Diminished ability to reason and remember;
  • Rise in experiencing confusion and anxiety;
  • Impact of some medications; and
  • Increase in fragility.

So, when planning for the future, a number of safety tips can be considered:

  • Stay physically active;
  • Schedule regular vision and hearing tests;
  • Manage medications;
  • Understand your limitations; and
  • Hide your mobile phone and concentrate on the road.

A reminder that from the age of 75 you will be required to have a medical assessment every year to keep your licence.

From the age of 85 most opt for a modified licence which will require you to still pass a medical assessment every year and also pass an on-road driving assessment every two years to keep your licence.

Remember, the best years of your life are in front of you. The best advice that can be given is to prepare for the future, be educated and stay safe.

National Road Safety Week 2022 is coming up in May of this year and everybody in the community needs to play their part.

The pledge is to drive as if your own family members are on the road ahead. Remove any distractions, don’t put others at risk and protect all susceptible road users by slowing down. Together we can make this happen.

Useful Links

May 2022 - National Walk Safely to School Day

National Walk Safely to School Day - Friday 20 May 2022

National Walk Safely to School Day is a community initiative aimed at raising awareness of road safety and encouraging students to make safe choices as pedestrians.

Walking safely to school and explaining the dangers to children, as well as ensuring they know some basic road rules, is important for the safety of both primary and high school students.

When walking to school:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and stay alert.
    Teaching children to be aware of their surroundings helps reduce the risk of danger and can prevent serious accidents. It’s important to teach children basic road safety skills such as stop, look, listen, and wait, from when they are toddlers.

    Students walking to school with their head down, looking at their phone, with headphones in their ears can pose a danger to themselves and other road users.

    Encourage children to remove distractions and ensure they are conscious of their surrounds and sudden hazards.
  • Hold hands with a parent or carer.
    Always hold your child’s hand when on the footpath, at a crossing, or in a car park. This should be done for children aged 8 and younger. Children should be closely supervised until at least the age of 10.
  • Choose a safe place to cross.
    Set an example for children by always using a pedestrian crossing, crossing at traffic lights, or by selecting a safe place to cross the road. By making better decisions while walking to school, you help reduce the risk for riders or drivers who may be sharing the school zone area.  
  • Stay active by walking to school.
    Walking to school not only increases physical activity, but also encourages a healthier lifestyle from a young age. Mental activity is also improved, which leads to releasing endorphins within the body and helps create a general feeling of wellbeing – a great way to start and end the school day.
  • Creates a sense of community engagement.
    Walking to school can create a sense of community and is a great way to meet other families who live close by.
  • Teach children various road signs and their meaning.
    This can be pointing to signs and explaining the meaning while walking on the footpath, driving in the car or just showing them as an example when crossing the road.

Tips:

  • When children are riding a bike it is important they wear a bicycle helmet, as well as knee and elbows pads where possible, and make sure the bike meets Australian Safety Standards.
  • Teach children to look out for vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians when approaching a driveway to help prevent injury.  
  • Encourage children to keep to the left while sharing the footpath.

For more information on how to walk to school safely, visit:

www.walk.com.au/

www.walk.com.au/WSTSD/how-to-participate.asp

June 2022 - Child Restraints

FACT! 53% of children who’ve died in crashes since 2009 were not properly restrained. In other words, many of the deaths could likely have been prevented if the children had been properly buckled up*

Most child restraint tickets issued by NSW Police are related to restraints not being installed correctly and the child not being secured correctly/the straps not adjusted to fit the child.

Selecting the appropriate child restraint for your child is essential in helping ensure their safety. All child restraints must be installed as per manufacturers guidelines. If you are unsure how to fit your seat, you should have it installed by an authorised professional fitter.

Which car seat do I use for my child?

0 - 6 months of age, your child must:

  • Use a rearward facing child restraint that is properly fitted to the vehicle and adjusted to fit their body correctly.
  • Not travel in the front seat of a vehicle that has a back row or rows of seats.

Best practice recommendations

  • Keep your baby in a rearward facing child restraint until they have reached the maximum size limits.

    Infants have relatively large heads and weak necks which puts them at particularly high risk of serious injuries. Rearward facing child restraints provide the required head and neck support that a child needs if involved in a car accident.

6 months to 4 years of age, your child must:

  • Use either a rearward facing OR forward-facing child restraint with an inbuilt harness, that is properly fitted to the vehicle and adjusted to fit the child’s body correctly.
  • Not travel in the front seat of a vehicle that has a back row or rows of seats.

Best practice recommendations

  • Infants are safest if they stay in their rearward facing child restraint. Use the markers on the restraint to see if they still fit.
  • Once your child meets the child restraint markers and is too tall to be rearward facing, they should use a forward-facing child restraint with an inbuilt harness for as long as they fit.

4 to 7 years of age, your child must:

  • Use either a forward-facing child restraint with inbuilt harness OR a booster seat with a properly fastened and adjusted seatbelt.
  • Not travel in the front seat of a vehicle that has a back row or rows of seats unless all the other back seats are occupied by children who are also under 7 years of age.

Best practice recommendations

  • Keep your child in a child restraint until they reach the maximum size limit.

Is my child ready for an adult seatbelt?

Use the five-step test to see if your child is ready to move into an adult seatbelt

  1. Can the child sit with their back against the vehicle seat back?
  2. Do the child’s knees bend in front of the edge of the seat?
  3. Does the sash belt sit low across the middle of the shoulders?
  4. Is the lap belt sitting low across the hips touching the thighs?
  5. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?

Yes to all? Then your child is seatbelt ready.

For more information about child restraint safety, visit www.childcarseats.com.au

*Source: Child Death Review Ream report prepared by the NSW Ombudsman (5 June 2019).

July 2022 - Travelling to the Snow Fields

Travelling to the Snow Fields

Are you thinking of heading to the snow fields this winter? The Eyes on the Road team have put together some tips and safety information to help you have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

Driving safely in cold climate areas requires drivers to be alert and always on the lookout for black ice, snow and slippery road surfaces as well as wildlife such as wombats and kangaroos that are in the alpine regions in large numbers.

Good vehicle preparation is paramount to ensuring the safety of you and other road users.

Tips:

  • Calling your mechanic to ask whether your vehicle requires anti-freeze to be added to the radiator;
  • Drive on alpine roads with your headlights on. Use your fog lights when visibility is poor due to fog or mist;
  • Don’t forget to take regular breaks and make good use of the driver reviver sites along the way; and
  • Have an emergency kit that includes items such as a torch, blanket, tow rope, spade, plastic scraper (for getting ice off the windscreen) and a first aid kit.

Snow chains are a must and are required by law in some parts of the Snowy region. All two-wheel drive vehicles entering Kosciuszko National Park between the June and October long weekends must carry snow chains. The law requires you to carry them on the following roads:

  • Kosciuszko Road from the Kosciuszko National Park boundary at Thredbo River to Perisher Valley
  • Alpine Way between Thredbo and Tom Groggin
  • Island Bend/Guthega Road for its full length.

Fines apply to those who don’t comply.

It is highly recommended you carry snow chains on Alpine Way between Jindabyne and Thredbo and on the Snowy Mountains Highway.

Snow chains can be hired from various locations along the journey to the snow fields and must be the correct size for the vehicle they are to be fitted on. Not all snow chains fit all vehicles! The hirer or supplier should show you how to fit them properly.

When driving with snow chains fitted, it is recommended to stay below 40kph. Once fitted, you should drive about 200m before stopping and checking they are tension correctly.

August 2022 - Speeding

Speeding

Have you ever thought about the impact speeding could have on you if you were the driver?

At 60 km/h you are travelling at approximately 16.6 meters every second. That’s just over the width of the average Camden house block, every second.

Now think about this, you see a ball rolling across the street three houses ahead. By the time you react to the situation, you have, on average, travelled a further 25 metres. By the time you have come to a complete stop, you’re right on top of the ball, or stopping perilously close to it. A very scary situation if someone had followed the ball onto the road.  

Now think about the same situation at just 10 km/h faster. You will have now passed the ball by 12 meters!

The difference between being able to stop safely without a collision, and not stopping in time, resulting in devastating consequences, is sometimes the difference of only a few kilometres per hour.  

According to the New South Wales Centre for Road Safety: 

  • Going 5 km/h over in a 60km/h zone doubles your risk of having a crash. 
  • Going 10 km/h over in a 60km/h zone means you’re four times more likely to be involved in a crash. 

Speeding isn’t just about the fact you or someone else may be killed or injured. The cost to your wallet is far more substantial than you may realise:

  • Fines amount to almost $300 for going more than 10 km/h over the speed limit
  • Fines of over $2,600 when you are caught going more than 45 km/h over the speed limit.
  • Loss of licence and the negative impact a decision to speed can have on your ability to get to work, earn money and pay for everyday expenses. 

In 2014, The New Zealand Government put together one of the most realistic and confronting road safety videos available. In the video entitled ‘mistakes’, two drivers are stopped before a collision occurs. The powerful exchange between the two drivers results in the realisation that one driver was speeding, and the result - a likely fatal crash.

Watch the video below and see how the impact speeding can have. 

September 2022 - E-Bikes and E-Scooters

There’s been a surge in popularity of E-bikes and E-scooters but are you aware of the legal ramifications around using these?

E-Bikes

Bicycles come in numerous forms and have numerous names. To keep it simple, this article will focus on E-bikes (electric or power assisted pedal cycles). These are ordinary bicycles fitted with some sort of battery powered motor designed to assist the rider.

For an E-bike to be ridden legally on a road or footpath, it must have a power output of less than 200 watts.

To put this in perspective, a hair dryer uses just over 800 watts on a low setting.

Therefore, if you’re able to ride your E-bike without pedalling it, it is highly likely that your bike is over the 200 watt limit. This means it is illegal to use on a road or footpath.

A power assisted E-bike can be used on a road or footpath if it assists the rider when pedalling. It should not be able to move off from a standing start without the rider pedalling the bike.

There are fines for riding a power assisted E-bike that exceed the 200 watt limit on a road or footpath. The fines are hefty as these bikes are considered motor vehicles under the road rules and are required to be registered. As they do not comply with registration requirements, they cannot be registered and so cannot be used on roads and footpaths.

The use of an unregistered vehicle on a road or footpath currently carries a penalty of $723.

himiway bikes cwGvr1TNm7Q unsplash ebike

E-Scooters

An E-scooter (electric scooter) falls under the same definition as a bicycle under the road rules. Therefore, a significant number of rules that apply to bicycle riders also apply to E-scooter riders. There are also some notable differences. For example:

  • It is an offence for a child under the age of 16 years to ride an E-scooter on a footpath or a road; and
  • If a person over the age of 16 years rides an E-scooter on a road or road related area (footpath), they are subject to same rules as bicycle riders such as the wearing of helmets,  vehicle registration (if over 200 watts) as well as obeying all road rules.

You may have heard of an E-scooter trial in your area. In Macarthur the trial is taking place within the Mount Annan Botanic Gardens. The rules for E Scooters within the Gardens are completely different and only apply to hired scooters. If you’re planning on hiring an E-scooter in the Mount Annan Botanic Gardens as part of the trial, please familiarise yourself with the rules

October 2022 - Motorcycle Awareness Month

October is Motorcycle Awareness Month, and ALL road users have an important part to play in keeping motorcyclists safe.

A crash as a motorcyclist is almost 30 times more likely to be fatal than as a motorist. Keeping motorcyclists safe is the responsibility of motorcycle riders and all other motorists. As of September 2022, there has been 39 motorcyclist fatalities on NSW roads, which is the same number of motorcyclist fatalities on NSW roads in 2021.

Motorcycles are physically smaller than other vehicles and only have a single headlight, theoretically making them harder to see. As a driver it is important to ‘look twice for bikes’ and be aware of your blind spots.

Motorcycle riders have a responsibility to keeping themselves safe. Here are some tips:

  • ‘Ride to Live’ - riding with the right attitude, and the right gear is a great start. Check how your riding gear rates for safety at www.motocap.com.au;
  • Ride defensively, not aggressively and plan for the unexpected;
  • Maintain a safe distance (including reaction time) between you and any vehicle in front of you, including your riding buddies;
  • Constantly scan and monitor your surroundings and look out for hazards such as potholes;
  • Be prepared as you approach potential hazards (set up, and reduce the brake freeplay, which in turn activates the brake light and starts compressing the suspension travel);
  • Ensure your motorcycle is in a safe and roadworthy condition before going for a ride. If you are unsure how to maintain your motorcycle, many local motorcycle shops run free basic maintenance courses or you could seek assistance from a suitably skilled rider;
  • Control your space, keep your bike within your lane, position your bike away from oncoming traffic (also when exiting a corner) and ensure you have a buffer zone; and
  • Ride within YOUR comfort zone.

Inexperienced riders have additional rules in an attempt to keep them, and other road users, safe. These include:

  • Restrictions on bikes they can ride (LAMS scheme);
  • They may not use any function, of any phone, at any time, whether or not it is held. This means no ear pods or helmet audio systems playing your favourite music / audiobooks or even navigation, if they are being sourced from a mobile phone; and
  • Learner and Provisional 1 riders are prohibited from carrying a pillion passenger.

For more information including tips to help keep everyone safe on the road, visit Ridetolive.

Let all try and make Motorcycle Awareness Month, motorcyclist fatality free. Spread the word and use the hashtags #MotorcycleAwarenessMonth and #MAM2022 and let’s keep our motorcyclists alive.

November 2022 - Novice Drivers - L & P Plate Road Safety

Young drivers face many challenges when learning the complex task of driving a vehicle. With their relative inexperience, they also face a higher risk of being involved in a crash. Despite making up approximately 15 per cent of all licence holders, the crashes that involve younger drivers (aged under 26 years) account for almost a quarter of annual road fatalities.

To help keep everyone safe on our roads, special licence conditions apply for young and novice drivers. The conditions and restrictions that apply to learner or provisional licence holders do not change when they travel outside NSW. You might also have other licence conditions, such as wearing glasses or contact lenses when driving.

 Here are some conditions that apply to young novice drivers,

Supervised driving
Did you know learner drivers can have their licence suspended if they drive unsupervised! All learner drivers must be supervised by a driver with a full (unrestricted) drivers’ licence.

Learner drivers under 25 years must complete 120 hours of supervised driving (including 20 hours at night) before applying for a provisional licence.

Manage your speed

Driving too fast is the single biggest contributor to death and injury on NSW roads. Speeding consistently contributes to around 41 per cent of road fatalities and 24 per cent of serious injuries each year. This means almost 150 lives lost and 1,270 people seriously injured each year.

A maximum speed limit of 90 km/h is enforced for learner and provisional P1 drivers and provisional 2 drivers must not drive faster than 100 km/h.

Learner and P1 drivers caught speeding will exceed their demerit point limit and lose their licence for at least three months. If a learner or provisional driver exceeds the speed limit by more than 30 km/h, they face immediate suspension and licence confiscation by the Police.

P2 drivers will lose their licence for at least three months if they are penalised twice for speeding.

Displaying L and P plates

All learner and provisional drivers must clearly display their L and P plates on the front and back of the outside of the vehicle. The plates must be clearly visible and the letters must not be hidden.

Alcohol and drugs

Safe driving requires good judgement and sharp concentration. You also need to be able to react quickly to changing situations on the road. The use of illicit drugs and alcohol causes changes in the brain which can impair driving ability and increase the risk of having a crash. This is why, all learner and provisional drivers must have a zero blood alcohol limit.

Remember, if you have a big night out and have had a lot to drink, you may still be over the zero limit the next day! A healthy liver breaks down less than one standard drink per hour. If your liver is damaged, it takes even longer. After a heavy night of drinking, it can take more than 18 hours for your blood alcohol concentration to get back to zero. Many people are booked for drink driving the next day.

Mobile phones

Learner and provisional drivers must not use a mobile phone while driving for any purpose including:

  • In the hands-free mode;
  • With the loudspeaker operating;
  • To stream music; or
  • To send text messages.

 Your mobile phone must not be plugged into the vehicle to charge whilst driving.

The only instances where a learner or provisional driver can legally use their mobile phones is:

  • To show their Digital Driver Licence (after being requested to do so by Police); and
  • To use wallet functions (when stationary and on a road-related area such as in a carpark, driveway or drive-thru).

Learner and P1 drivers caught using a mobile phone illegally will exceed their demerit point limit and face a three-month licence suspension.

P2 licence holders will have two demerit points remaining if they are penalised for illegally using a mobile phone.

Passenger limits for P1 and P2 drivers

P1 drivers under 25 are not permitted to drive with more than one passenger under the age of 21 between the hours of 11pm and 5am.

P1 or P2 drivers who are issued with a new licence after a period of disqualification are not permitted to drive with more than one passenger at any time for 12 months.

Towing

Learner drivers must not tow a trailer or any other vehicle and are not permitted to drive any vehicle that is being towed.

P1 drivers can tow trailers either loaded or unloaded, as long as the unladen mass of the trailer itself (excluding the load) is not over 250 kilograms. P plates must be displayed on the back of the trailer while towing.

P1 drivers must not drive a vehicle that is towing any other vehicle with an unladen mass of more than 250kg. 

Automatic vehicles

P1 licence holders who passed their driving test in an automatic vehicle (including vehicles with an automatic clutch actuator) will be restricted to driving automatic vehicles only, unless they are being supervised by a person with an unrestricted licence.

This condition remains until you are issued with a P2 or unrestricted licence. To remove the condition earlier, you must pass a driving test in a manual vehicle.

For more information on Novice Young Drivers visit the below link.

https://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/stayingsafe/alcoholdrugs/index.html