Huge change to driving licences proposed

A huge new change to Australian driving licences has been proposed in the wake of rising road accident statistics.

The national death toll for road accidents is reportedly for its highest level in seven years, and all before the holiday season has begun.

The latest crash to horrify the nation was an alleged hit and run that killed 18-year-old Charlie Stevens, son of Police Commissioner Grant Stevens.

Charlie died while celebrating Schoolies in Goolwa, SA, on Friday.

Grant has since released a moving tribute to his “cheeky, intense and funny” son in which he said Charlie would “befriend the lonely and help those who were struggling”.

On Tuesday evening’s edition of The Project, host Sarah Harris asked whether Grant’s heartbreaking public tribute would finally be “the wake up call Australians need”.

Russell White, from the Australian Road Safety Foundation, shared his thoughts on how future lives could be saved to stop such a tragedy from happening again.

He proposed a huge change in a bid to force a shift in Aussie drive’ attitudes towards road safety.

“We need to look at, not only for ways of how we’re penalising drivers, but is there an opportunity to incentivise people who are doing the right thing,” he said. “We need to look at that as well.”

Waleed Aly then asked for further clarity, questioning: “Does that mean a tax deduction for zero demerit points over a year?”

“It could be. There could be, if we look at, I guess, other things that people are used to in the market place, a benefit,” continued the expert.

“Maybe it is a reduction on fuel. Maybe it is a reduction on tolls so that clean licence actually has a financial value as well as the points value as well.

“I think if we built a bit of pride around the licence, a bit of extra value around it, that might facilitate a cultural change.”

Dhirren Randhawa, the man accused of killing Charlie, has been released on bail.

The 18-year-old faces four charges, including causing death by dangerous driving.

Police said Charlie, who became the 101st person to die on South Australia’s roads this year, is believed to have died surrounded by family and friends about 7pm on Saturday evening.

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