To try and reduce the worrying number of young drivers getting killed in car accidents on Australian roads, the New South Wales state government is offering a $5,000 cash incentive to scrap their old, unsafe hand-me-down rust buckets.
This incentive will be trialled in regional areas of NSW later this year, starting off with 50 kids to provide feedback before it’s applied to the rest of the state.
Young drivers who want to get their hands on the dosh need to be under 25 and live in regional NSW. They also need to hold an NSW driver’s license and be the registered owner of a car 16 years or older with a one or two-star used car safety rating.
The NSW Centre for Road Safety has found that 80% of fatal car accidents killing drivers under the age of 20 involved car models that were over a decade old.
Those qualifying for the scheme will get the cash to buy any vehicle that is less than a decade old with a 5-star safety rating. If successful, the NSW Premier will then open the program up to another 1,000 drivers.
“We will get old and unsafe cars off our country roads and make it easier for young drivers to get behind the wheel of a safer car,” NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said.
“Young drivers in regional areas clock up the miles, and this is one way we can lower the risk of country kids being seriously injured or losing their lives in car accidents.”Dominic Perrottet
This mimics the Unsafe2Safe program already in place in Victoria, where $6.9 million was put into a trial to get younger drivers to trade in their cars for newer models.
Road fatalities actually increased during the pandemic, according to the Australian Automobile Association, due to a decline in seatbelt use and an uptick in high-speed crashes.
The recommendation to take older cars off the road was part of the federal government’s National Road Safety Action Plan released earlier this month, which also pledged to conduct risk assessments and review speed limits on regional and unsealed roads.
If this means fewer Barinas and EG Civics on the road then we’re all for it.