P-Plates Until You're 25, Victoria's Top Traffic Cop Says Photo:

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TMR Team | May, 21 2013 | 13 Comments

Victoria's top traffic cop believes that keeping probationary drivers on their 'P-plates' until the age of 25 would significantly cut the state's road toll.

Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill said today that 40 percent of deaths on Victoria's roads each year, among people aged 20 to 25, were the result of drink-driving.

Speaking with Fairfax, Mr Hill said that his beliefs are in-line with medical research that shows that the decision-making regions of the brain are not properly developed until the mid-to-late 20s.

"It is very very sad to see young people in the prime of their lives losing their lives in circumstances that could have been avoided," Mr Hill said.

"They're more inclined to make rash decisions. Decisions not understanding the consequences of those impulsive behaviours."

He said that a community discussion on the potential for expanding the state's existing graduated-licensing system to the age of 25 should be held.

"I would imagine that we'd be looking for something in the order of 30 to 40 fewer deaths each year and probably ten to 20 serious injuries," he said.

The proposal has already met opposition from the state's peak motoring body, RACV.

"I think the evidence needs to be there to ensure you are going to get the same levels of reduction," RACV's Brian Negus told ABC News today.

"You're not going to impose additional legalistic requirements on the community. There needs to be a balance between the law and community values."

Mr Hill has gained the support of the Monash University Accident Research Centre however, with road safety expert Bruce Corban highlighting the value in keeping young drivers on a zero blood-alcohol level longer.

''There's a number of aspects about driving skill and attitude that start to show impairment well before people reach 0.05,'' Dr Corban told Melbourne paper The Age.

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