Parental and young driver compliance with the conditions of graduated licensing: Findings from the New Zealand Drivers Study
The effectiveness of graduated driver licensing (GDL) programmes to reduce crash risk is limited if the main components are not complied with. The aim of this paper was to examine factors associated with compliance with GDL conditions. This study was part of the New Zealand Drivers Study, a prospective cohort study of newly licensed car drivers, interviewed at learner, restricted and full licence stages of GDL. After the new drivers had gained a restricted licence, their parents were interviewed. They reported knowledge of, and support for, the GDL conditions, their enforcement of the learner licence condition, and the limits they intended to place on their adolescent’s restricted licence stage driving. At the full licence interview, young drivers reported on vehicle ownership, driving experience, and compliance with the restricted licence conditions. 23% of restricted licence drivers reported regularly breaching GDL conditions, in terms of driving unsupervised with passengers and at night (10pm-5am). Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that adolescents were at increased odds of breaching these conditions if their parent reported low knowledge of conditions, allowed them to breach the learner licence supervisor condition, intended to place few limits on their driving, and if adolescents owned a vehicle as a restricted licensed driver. Parents would benefit from having a better understanding of the importance of their role, and the influence they have on their adolescent’s driving. Supporting GDL conditions is not enough; parents need to enforce compliance, place limits on their adolescent’s driving and limit vehicle ownership.