Libs to target speed limits

SPEED limits imposed on novice drivers would be brought closer to speeds allowed for unrestricted drivers if the Liberals win the upcoming election, Opposition road safety spokesman Rene Hidding announced yesterday.

Drivers with P1 provisional restrictions are currently barred from travelling at more than 80 km/h on any road in the state.

Mr Hidding said yesterday the Liberal Party would increase the permitted travelling speed for P1 provisional drivers to 100km/h on roads with a 110km/h speed limit and 90km/h on roads with a 100km/ h speed limit.

Mr Hidding said current regulations blocking drivers from training at speeds higher than 80km/h were unsafe.

"They go from full un-training to full speed on the road," he said.

"That is a very dangerous circumstance that's unsafe; every other jurisdiction recognises it. It's not good enough anywhere else and it's not good enough in Tasmania."

He said the current disparity between speed limits for restricted and unrestricted drivers was dangerous for all road users.

"When a line of traffic comes up against somebody doing 30 kilometres less, there's mayhem on the roads," he said.

Royal Automotive Club of Tasmania spokesman Vince Taskunas said the group gave the proposed changes "qualified support."

"We've had consistent feedback to suggest improvements can be made to the novice driver system," he said.

"About half of our members support increasing the speed limit for first year P-platers."

"Professional driving instructors tell us lifting the limit to 90km/h on a 100km/h highway would provide a more realistic driving experience."

Mr Taskunas said P-plate drivers regularly complained about the stress associated with the system.

" Restricted drivers often complain of needing to put up with tailgating, overtaking and risky behaviour," he said.

"But increasing the speed limit also increases risks to road users - it has a flow-on effect."

"We need to understand the full mix of reforms and changes to the system will be, and whether this increased speed will be balanced against measures such as as banning mobile phones and limiting engine power for restricted drivers."

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