19 Sep 2013

Serious teen crashes drop to new low

9:15 am on 19 September 2013

New figures show the number of young drivers dying behind the wheel is at a record low, while more new drivers are passing the learner's licence test.

The Transport Agency says the number of fatal and serious injury crashes involving teenage drivers has dropped from 475 in 2008 to 257 last year.

It says pass rates for the learner's licence test have hit 70% for the first time.

In 2009, the pass rate was 50% when more difficult computerised theory testing was introduced.

Transport Agency spokesperson Andy Knackstedt says new drivers are now studying harder to pass the test.

He says more challenging tests, raising the minimum driving age to 16 and lowering the youth alcohol limit for teen drivers to zero have all helped reduce the toll among young drivers.