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TitleTrends in young adult driver licensing rates in South Australia
AuthorsBailey TJ, Wundersitz LN, Raftery SJ
AbstractDeclines in the proportions of young adults with driver licences have been observed in several countries. This study investigated whether declines in driver licensing rates have also occurred among young adults (17-24 years) in South Australia and whether any such trends are associated with gender, location of residence (metropolitan/rural) and socio-economic status. Examination of licensing trends from 2009 to 2018 revealed a decreasing trend for young South Australians to hold a driver licence. The decline was most evident for those aged 17 to 19 years with licensing rates decreasing from 62% in 2009 to 55% in 2018. The steepest decline (from 52% to 37%) was observed among drivers aged 17. In contrast, licensing rates for those aged 20 to 24 years were stable at approximately 75% suggesting some young drivers are delaying getting a licence until their early to mid 20s. Further analyses indicated that the lowest licensing rates were among young adults living in metropolitan Adelaide or middle socio-economic ranked areas. In addition, both young males and females aged 17 to 19 and those living in the metropolitan area had declining licensing rates over time. These groups have the greatest potential to take up alternative travel modes such as active travel, public transport and ride sharing. Transport planners and policy makers need to ensure that the safety needs resulting from potentially increased take-up of alternative travel modes by young adults are met, as suggested by their declining licensing rates. Meeting these safety needs will depend on determining which travel modes are being taken up and in which circumstances young adults are using them. Trends in licensing rates and travel mode choices among young adults should continue to be monitored as the transport system continues to become more multimodal.
Report NumberCASR192
PublisherCentre for Automotive Safety Research
Publisher CityAdelaide
SponsorThis research was funded via a deed with the South Australian Government
Page Count37

Bailey TJ, Wundersitz LN, Raftery SJ (2021). Trends in young adult driver licensing rates in South Australia (CASR192). Adelaide: Centre for Automotive Safety Research.

Files Available for Download
CASR192final.pdfPDF of final report