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Young Drivers Should Undergo Psychological Testing Before Gaining Licence: Expert Photo:

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Mike Stevens | Feb, 15 2010 | 1 Comment

YOUNG DRIVERS should be required to undergo a psychological test before being granted a licence, a leading psychologist has said this week.

Speaking with Fairfax, Monash University's John Reid said that rather than raising the driving age, a psychological test would ensure that only those with properly "mature" brains are allowed to drive.

Dr Reid said that the speed of brain maturation varies from one individual to the next, complete in some in the late teens, not complete in others until the late twenties.

With psychological testing, it would be possible to tell if a young driver is able to properly consider the consequences of risky behaviour while driving.

According to Dr Reid's research, the number of young drivers on the road with "immature" brains could be anywhere from five to 70 percent.

"Five percent of people who are likely to have a fatal crash is still a high proportion," Dr Reid told Fairfax.

Dr Reid acknowledged that while psychological testing is one possible approach to curbing the road toll among young drivers, it would not be easily implemented.

"Whether you've got the political will to do that, I don't know, because there would be an outcry."

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