A grieving father has called for bans on P-platers from carrying passengers for the first 12 months of their driver’s license.
Nigel Smith lost his 18-year-old son Lachlan when the teen was a passenger in a car accident in Silverdale, southwest of Sydney, last February.
A 17-year-old friend of the avid dirt bike rider reportedly drove a Mazda 6 about 45 km faster than the speed limit before the car hit another vehicle.
Lachlan Smith, 18, (pictured) was a passenger in a Mazda 6 – driven by a P-plater – that crashed into a car last February and ended his life
The horror accident prompted the teen’s “stunned” father to launch a petition calling for limits on P-platers, which is gaining momentum.
By Wednesday, the online appeal had gathered 15,200 signatures after two weeks, hoping to reach a minimum of 25,000.
“Our traffic rules must change to prevent innocent passengers from dying in traffic accidents caused by inexperienced P-plate drivers,” Mr Smith wrote in the petition.
“The loss of our son has devastated our family, his friends, our family friends, the community and first responders.”
“Our traffic rules must change to prevent innocent passengers from dying in traffic accidents caused by inexperienced P-plate drivers,” Father Nigel Smith said in the petition (pictured, his son Lachlan)
He said Australia should follow in the footsteps of New Zealand, which bans temporary drivers from having passengers.
“We need the same rule in NSW and Australia to prevent these young lives from being lost,” he said.
Restricted drivers in New Zealand are not allowed to carry most passengers except one who is their spouse or a dependent such as a child living with them.
Parents and certain family members can also ride with a restricted driver.
Kiwis must be 16 and a half years old to receive a restricted driver’s license and are restricted to when they can drive alone.
They are only allowed to drive alone between 5:00 AM and 10:00 PM and will require a fully licensed passenger by their side at other times.
In NSW, drivers on red P1 or green P2 plates can transport others in the vehicle.
But a P1 driver under 25 is not allowed to drive with more than one passenger under 21 between 11pm and 5am.
P1 or P2 drivers who have been given a new license after a disqualification may not carry more than one passenger during a year.
Mr Smith said NSW and Australia should follow New Zealand’s lead ‘to prevent these young lives from being lost’ (pictured, the road where the accident happened in Silverdale, Sydney)
Lachlan was remembered for his adventurous spirit, with a wild imagination and who lived life to the fullest.
Mr. Smith urged young people to slow down to prevent parents from “going through the hell we are going through.”
“A few minutes of fun sounds great, but in the blink of an eye your friends will be gone,” he told the Daily Telegram in February.
“I’ve always tried to tell Lachlan ‘you should always think about the consequences’.”
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