Posted September 19, 2019 12:02:57A little-known Australian law allows parents to teach their kids the basics of driving and how to stay safe.
The Driving Schools Act 2017 was passed in February by the Victorian Parliament.
“The purpose of the law is to educate parents on the basics in the driving industry so they can be responsible, safe and effective drivers,” says the NSW Civil Aviation Authority.
The law states:Parents can teach their children the basics on driving safety including the following:Do not drive at night, wear lights, be attentive, follow the rules and take responsibility for your vehicle.(See full law)Do not use a handheld device while driving.(See fully law)If you are a student driving and you are involved in an accident or if you are under 18 years old you must remain sober for 30 minutes after you stop your vehicle(See full section)If your child is not driving properly, they must not drive for any period of time.(See section on drivers under 18)If any of these principles are not being followed, the person is responsible for a serious traffic infraction(See section 7)When a parent’s children are taught these lessons, they should never be driving a car for longer than two hours.(See more on driving under 18 in NSW)The act says that the driving schools must be at least one hour apart and each child must be able to drive for a minimum of 30 minutes.(See further information)If the school is not at least 1 hour away, it must notify the police.
The NSW Civil Civil Aviation authority said that parents must be allowed to train their children in the fundamentals of driving, but that it would be up to the police and child protection agency to determine if the lessons should be taught to children aged 10 and under.(See sections 5 and 6 of the act)The ACT has similar laws but the law does not require that the lessons be given at all.
The ACT also requires all schools to maintain a minimum amount of safety equipment in the school parking lot.(See the ACT Child Safety website for more information on child safety)If parents do not teach their child how to safely drive, it could lead to accidents.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics said in its latest Child Safety Index that children aged between 10 and 15 had the most serious injuries in motor vehicle crashes.(See latest statistics)According to the ABS, the most common cause of death for children under 15 was car crash and was linked to head injuries.(See figures)Parents should also ensure that their child understands the requirements for a safe and responsible driver.(See parents to learn about driving)Parents can also instruct children to wear safety helmets, which are designed to protect children’s heads.(See head safety helmet requirements in Australia)Parents have a duty to ensure their children are safe.
If they are not, they are negligent and may be liable for a criminal offence.(See liability for negligent driving in NSW and WA)In NSW, parents can also train their kids to drive on a learner licence.(See Australian Driving School Licence and learner licences in NSW.)
The ABC has a list of NSW safety laws and is not responsible for the content of these pages.
For more information about child safety, you can contact the NSW Child Safety Authority on 1300 363 444.
If you or someone you know is a victim of crime, contact the police on 1800 333 000.