P-platers under stress from conflicting Victoria and NSW police laws

CALL FOR CLARITY: Dani Sanderson and Aidan Gibbs are asking Victoria and NSW police to work together on a combined statement, clearly explaining passenger retsriction laws on the Border.

CALL FOR CLARITY: Dani Sanderson and Aidan Gibbs are asking Victoria and NSW police to work together on a combined statement, clearly explaining passenger retsriction laws on the Border.

Repeated pleas for clarity from P-plate drivers have not cleared up any confusion – both Victoria and NSW police continue to say their laws should be followed south of the border.

The “Traffic and Highway Patrol Command - NSW Police Force” Facebook page has posted a helpful list of rules for P1 and P2 drivers.

It included laws around peer passengers, saying P1 drivers under 25 were not permitted to drive with more than one passenger under 21 between 11pm and 5am.

The instructions also warned drivers to abide by NSW rules across the border.

“This ‘home conditions’ rule also applies to novice drivers and riders around Australia when they drive or ride in other states or territories,” NSW Police said.

But Victoria police can only enforce laws imposed by their own state government, which say P1 drivers must have no more than one passenger under 21 at all times.

Lavington teenager Dani Sanderson told The Border Mail of her frustrations back in January and said young drivers continued to be put under stress because the rules were unclear and they wanted to avoid expensive fines they could not afford.

“This isn’t about the conflicting laws anymore, it’s about getting clarification of what laws to follow,” she said.

“We’re getting so many different answers, it really doesn’t help anyone.

“All I’m asking for is an official statement from both NSW and Victoria police forces stating what laws we follow as we cross the border because they’re both different. Us provisional drivers are sick of being caught in the crossfire.”

Aidan Gibbs, 17, who was pulled over by police with three passengers in Yarrawonga, has also supported the campaign for clarity.

“This brings a large amount of confusion with what laws to follow and obey,” he said.

“This confusion has taken effect on me personally as I received a $466 and three demerit point fine on January 5.

“This confusion I believe needs to be addressed and this is why i am approaching The Border Mail again to bring the idea back and hopefully receive answers from those responsible for making the laws.”

NSW cross-border commissioner James McTavish had tried to explain the rules, saying passenger restrictions were road rules enforced by individual states – not just conditions of a licence – so all P-platers had to follow Victorian rules in that state.

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