• Staff Writers

Victoria's cash for youngsters in regions instead of 'cash for clunkers'


Young regional Victorias deemed to be 'vulnerable' could receive grants to buy newer, safer cars under a state government scheme announced today.


The Victorian government has announced $6.9 million in incentives to get 1,000 young regional drivers into safer vehicles.


In the past, the former Gillard federal Labor government proposed a cash scheme to remove older vehicles (or, vernacularly, 'clunkers') from the nation's roads to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from older vehicles.


This scheme instead provides cash for youngsters to start moving them to reduce demand for older, less safe vehicles.


A lack of safety technology in older vehicles not only increases the risk of being involved in a crash, according to the government, but also provides less protection in the event of an incident.


The Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Ben Carroll told Melbourne radio:

“We’re trialling a new grants program to essentially get younger drivers, 18-to-25-year-olds, into safer vehicles.
“We’ve done a recent study through the Transport Accident Commission, which has shown about three quarters, about 70 per cent , of 18-to-25-year-old driver and passenger deaths are in vehicles older than 10 years.
“If you can get a five-star ANCAP rated vehicle you will protect yourself better than a vehicle that does not have airbags, does not have anti-skid breaks, does not have traction control.
“We’re looking at around sort of $3,000 to $5,000 dollar (per car) as the grant.

The Minister implied that the definition of 'vulnerable' would be determined on a case-by-case basis:

“Eligibility will be determined on what are your circumstances at the moment.
“We really want to target those sorts of families where the parents can’t really assist the (young) person to (pay) half and half.
“We also know (young people) live predominantly on long distance, high speed, long roads, which also make them particularly vulnerable as well.”

Transport Accident Commission CEO Joe Calafiore, said in a statement:

“The stats couldn’t be clearer – putting young people in old cars increases their risk of being seriously injured or dying in a crash.
“It’s time to value safety over things like gadgets and leather seats and get young drivers behind the wheel of the safest car they can afford.”