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Impact of graduated driver licensing restrictions on crashes involving young drivers in New Zealand
  1. D J Begg,
  2. S Stephenson,
  3. J Alsop,
  4. J Langley
  1. Injury Prevention Research Unit, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, PO Box 913, Dunedin, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Begg
 dorothy.begg{at}ipru.otago.ac.nz

Abstract

Objective—To determine the impact on young driver crashes of the three main driving restrictions in the New Zealand graduated driver licensing (GDL) system: night-time curfew, no carrying of young passengers, and a blood alcohol limit of 30 mg/100 ml.

Method—The database for this study was created by linking police crash reports to hospital inpatient records (1980–95). Multivariate logistic regression was used to compare car crashes involving a young driver licensed before GDL (n=2252) with those who held a restricted graduated licence (n=980) and with those who held a full graduated licence (n=1273), for each of the main driving restrictions.

Results—Compared with the pre-GDL group, the restricted licence drivers had fewer crashes at night (p=0.003), fewer involving passengers of all ages (p=0.018), and fewer where alcohol was suspected (p=0.034), but not fewer involving young casualties (p=0.980). Compared with the pre-GDL drivers, those with the full graduated licence had fewer night crashes (p=0.042) but did not differ significantly for any of the other factors examined.

Conclusion—These results suggest that some of the GDL restrictions, especially the night-time curfew, have contributed to a reduction in serious crashes involving young drivers.

  • young drivers
  • graduated driver licensing
  • driving restrictions
  • motor vehicle crashes
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