Maitland L-platers have a say in future tools | Editorial

Young drivers in the Lower Hunter have a great opportunity to make their mark on a big decision that could affect other learner drivers for years to come.

The state government has chosen Maitland, along with Sydney suburb Castle Hill, as a trial site to test new smart phone applications designed to replace hand-written log books that L-platers and their supervisors use to track their experience on the road.

The government has opened the door for 100 L-platers to test four apps and give feedback on which one works best, before the winning program is made available to all young drivers across the state later this year.

Hunter L-plater Tia Armand-Burton, 16. Picture: Perry Duffin

Hunter L-plater Tia Armand-Burton, 16. Picture: Perry Duffin

The apps include Licence Ready, Learner Journey, Ezy Log and L2P.

NSW Roads and Freight Minister Melinda Pavey said the apps were designed to bring “the logbook experience into the 21st century”.

“Parents and kids are sick of having to manually write in 120 hours of driving practice,” she said.

“New innovations to make life easier are being developed every day, and it’s important that government doesn’t stand in the way when it comes to harnessing technology to deliver better products and services for NSW customers.”

The argument of making the “logbook experience” more convenient is also likely to mean that the hours of experience recorded will be more accurate – which can only be a good thing.

In days gone by, some time may have passed between a driving lesson and data being recorded because the logbook may have been left at home.

So having a logbook on a smart phone, which the young driver or supervisor is far more likely to be carrying around with them, increases the chance that hours will be recorded immediately and accurately – as they should be.

Given the way technology has exponentially become part of daily life in recent years, it’s unsurprising the government is moving this way.

The government should be commended on recognising the valuable input that young people in the Hunter can have in the conversation about how to improve driver education and by extension, safety on the state’s roads.

Registrations to become an app tester are on a first come, first served basis.

Contact the Service NSW Maitland office to find out how to participate.​