Grieving father whose son was killed in a car crash launches petition to ban P-platers from carrying passengers
- ‘Devastated’ dad wants limits on P-platers carrying passengers after son’s death
- Nigel Smith lost 18-year-old Lachlan last February in a horror car crash in Sydney
- He has called for NSW and the country to put limits on provisional drivers
A grieving dad has called for P-platers to be banned from having passengers for the first 12 months of their licence.
Nigel Smith lost his 18-year-old son Lachlan when the teen was a passenger in a car crash last February in Silverdale, southwest of Sydney.
A 17-year-old friend of the keen dirt bike rider was allegedly driving a Mazda 6 about 45km over the speed limit before the car struck another vehicle.
Lachlan Smith, 18, (pictured) was a passenger in a Mazda 6 – driven by a P-plater – that crashed into a car last February, ending his life
The horror accident prompted the teen’s ‘devastated’ dad to launch a petition, calling for limits on P-platers, which is gaining momentum.
On Wednesday the online appeal had attracted 15,200 signatures after two weeks, hoping to get at least 25,000.
‘Our road rules need to change to stop innocent passengers being killed in road crashes due to inexperienced P-plate drivers,’ Mr Smith wrote on the petition.
‘The loss of our son has devastated our family, his friends, our family friends, the community and first responders.’
‘Our road rules need to change to stop innocent passengers being killed in road crashes due to inexperienced P-plate drivers,’ dad Nigel Smith said on the petition (pictured, his son Lachlan)
He said Australia should follow in the footsteps of New Zealand, which bans provisional drivers from having passengers.
‘We need the same rule in NSW and Australia to stop these young lives being lost,’ he said.
Restricted drivers in New Zealand are barred from carrying most passengers except one who is their spouse or a dependent, like a child who lives with them.
Parents and certain relatives are also able to ride along with a restricted driver.
Kiwis need to be 16 and a half years old to get a restricted licence and are limited to when they can drive on their own.
They can only drive by themselves between 5am and 10pm and need a fully licensed passenger next to them at other times.
In NSW, drivers on red P1 or green P2 plates are able to carry others in the vehicle.
But a P1 driver under 25 is not allowed to drive with more than one passenger under 21 between 11pm and 5am.
P1 or P2 drivers who have been given a new licence after a disqualification are not permitted to carry more than one passenger for a year.
Mr Smith said NSW and Australia need to follow the New Zealand’s lead ‘to stop these young lives being lost’ (pictured, the road where the crash occurred in Silverdale, Sydney)
Lachlan was remembered for his adventurous spirit, with a wild imagination and who lived life to the full.
Mr Smith urged young people to slow down to prevent parents from ‘going through the hell we’re going through’.
‘A couple of minutes of fun sounds great, but in an instant your friends are gone,’ he told the Daily Telegraph in February.
‘I always tried to tell Lachlan “you always have to think of the consequences”.’