Don’t discriminate against young people

Muddle-headed thinking about cutting the rights of young drivers would be discriminatory, and also may lead to more deaths and injuries, CLA says. Australia needs a national approach, and the ACT is showing the way. Read main media release and media release regarding the NRMA

Media release


10 January 2007


CLA calls on NRMA to represent all its members

Civil Liberties Australia has (CLA) today called on young people to question whether it is in their interest to be members of the NRMA after the road safety organisation’s role in lobbying for draconian laws to be imposed on young drivers in NSW.

“The NRMA was foremost in advocating for the introduction of draconian laws on young people, including a zerotolerance
policy for P-plate drivers and banning young people from
having handsfree mobile phone kits in their cars,” CLA spokesperson Anthony Williamson said.

“The impact on a young person from loosing their licence can be immense. Many young people depend on their licence to get to work or attend school, TAFE or university. Now, because a young person goes a K or two over the speed limit, or forgets to indicate, the NRMA seems to think it is appropriate to jeopardise that young person’s employment or education.

“Such an approach is ridiculous and grossly disproportionate.

“These laws clearly discriminate against all young people when it is only a small minority that do the wrong thing. Proposals such as these amount to a form of collective punishment,” Mr Williamson said.

“The NRMA should stick to servicing vehicles and travel, and not infringe the civil liberties of young people, some of whom would be NRMA members.

“Members pay money to NRMA for it to look after their interests. Instead, the NRMA is using the membership dues of its younger members to lobby against their rights as drivers.

“Young people will probably look long and hard at whether they want to be members of an organisation that attacks their rights and treats them as lesser citizens.

“If NRMA management won’t be persuaded by common sense, then perhaps they will be persuaded when their bottom line takes a hit if younger members show their disapproval with their feet,” Mr Williamson said.

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