More power available to P-platers

CHANGES to laws restricting the cars available to P-plate drivers have been welcomed by Mitch Glanville of Bomaderry.

Mr Glanville, who is on his P-plates, said it was a good idea to give young drivers a taste of what it’s like to have a little more power at their disposal.

“You have guys on their P-plates driving a standard Commodore and as soon as they get their full licence they get into something with a turbo and write it off,” he said.

“At least this way they can get introduced to something with a bit of power so they know how to control it when they get their full licence.

“I wouldn’t mind driving a V8.

“I’m building a Commodore that will have a supercharged 5.7 litre engine for when I get my full licence.

“I figure if you’re going to do it you may as well do it big.”

The changes mean P-platers can drive some of the latest turbocharged fuel vehicles.

The changes come into force from August 1 and will add 6500 more vehicles to the list approved for P-platers.

The change will replace the blanket ban on turbocharged and supercharged vehicles with a formula that calculates the power-to-weight ratio of a car with a limit of 130kW/tonne.

Under current measures introduced in NSW in 2005, a P-plater cannot drive a petrol vehicle with eight or more cylinders, a turbocharged petrol vehicle, a supercharged petrol vehicle, or certain high-performance six-cylinder petrol vehicles.

The RMS online database of more than 4500 banned vehicles also discriminates against some of the safest cars on the road, because they use turbochargers.

Turbocharging has traditionally been associated with performance cars, but in recent years car makers have used the technology to downsize their engines and save fuel.

Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay said the new rules would help make life easier for families and young drivers.

Mr Gay ordered the Centre for Road Safety to redefine high-performance vehicles to reflect the reality of today’s cars where supercharged no longer just means super speed.

“The previous blanket ban on P-platers driving supercharged or turbocharged vehicles was put in place when the features on these cars were only used to enhance speed and acceleration,” he said.

“These days, for many vehicles in this category it is about fuel efficiency not speed and acceleration.

“For families with a car which may have been previously off limits to young drivers, these reforms mean P-platers no longer need to carry an exemption when driving the family vehicle.”

Statistics obtained by Fairfax Media show that since current vehicle restrictions were introduced for provisional NSW drivers in 2005, fatal accidents involving 17 to 20-year-old drivers have been reduced by 25 per cent across the state.

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HAPPY: Mitch Glanville from Bomaderry thinks the move to allow P-plate drivers to drive some turbocharged cars will be a good thing.

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