Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

Reckless P platers wreaking havoc on the beach

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

Reckless P platers wreaking havoc on the beach

[pj-news-ticker]

Jane Stephens: P plater drivers are wreaking havoc on the beach and should be banned

Do you have a news tip? Click here to send to our news team.

David’s shock at landing river monster in Coast lake

A new resident in a Maroochydore estate wonders what creatures are lurking in the city’s waterways after he reeled in a huge flathead. David Hawdon More

Bonza jobs taking off that could make you a ‘legend’

If you're one of the Sunshine Coast's shining lights as a "people person", you could be flying away with an exciting new career. Bonza Airlines, More

First look at epic waves that will break every day at new attraction

It's going to be called PerfectSwell® and the waves will look like this – all day, every day and even into the night! The developer More

‘Stand Up!’ It’s time for a vital celebration of culture

A range of events will be held around the region to celebrate NAIDOC Week, amid a call for justice, equity and recognition of First Nations More

IN PHOTOS: see who had fun at ‘best’ craft beer festival

The brews flowed, the music pumped and beer-lovers from far and wide converged for the Hinterland Craft Beer Festival. The annual event was held at More

Funky café ‘with a purpose’ connects community

A humble café has been transformed into a funky food, coffee and art destination as part of an inspiring community project. A number of local More

He was all swagger behind the steering wheel. Brash and bold, quick to take off at the lights and impatient in the line of traffic.

In a hurry. Restless. Pushy.

Like so many of his kind, this P plater needed to be reminded of his position in the pecking order of road users – the requirement to play a part, to be courteous and to make room; that dominating the road will just lead to misery for others and possibly for himself.

P drivers need a reality check.

The current change.org petition asking to ban them from driving on beaches is long overdue.


Too many are reckless on the sandy stretches at Inskip Point, Teewah and Double Island and on Fraser. They have not earned the right yet. There is no need for them to be there.

Anyone who has enjoyed those wild, free spaces (as I have) has a P plate story to tell that always includes a near miss or witnessing some kind of craziness on the sand.

Taking them off the beaches would be a fresh reset nearly 15 years after the State Government brought in specific young driver rules.

In 2007, a flashpoint was reached.

They were then twice as likely to die on the road as those aged over 25. Longer time served in the learning phase was deemed to be needed and logbooks began to be kept, with limits on behaviour and passenger numbers introduced.

The clamps on newbies became a new normal.

But it’s time to review their liberties again.


Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor with your name and suburb at Sunshine Coast News via: news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au

Let’s not forget that P stands for provisional. That means temporary, tentative or conditional.

As of June last year – the most recent stats available – there were 173,642 P1 and P2 drivers registered in Queensland.

The holders of these licences are in transition. They are learning the ropes and gaining their stripes.

Their time will come.

But so many don’t act like it. They drive it like they stole it.

What other group of drivers marks the death of one of their number by doing burnouts and donuts? What other cohort would put themselves and everyone else in harm’s way in a public space just for a buzz and a laugh?


At the time of writing, 46 people have died on Queensland roads this year. This time last year we had only lost 25. We are in for a bad road toll year, it would appear.

Transport and Main Roads figures show that P drivers were involved in crashes in Queensland that caused 60 deaths in the past year. That is more than involved oldies.

Demanding more of them is required: more learning, more checks, more time served.

Let’s make the beach ban petition the start of a renewed desire to keep our provisional drivers and those who share the driving spaces with them in one piece.

It just makes sense.

Jane Stephens is a USC journalism lecturer, media commentator and writer.

The change.org petition can be found here:


https://www.change.org/p/fraser-coast-regional-council-limit-all-beach-driving-in-qld-to-open-licence-holders?fbclid=IwAR2FcpiRpWZ5LTi-I6_5Crt3LZOF6_QsoGKHqAkwINrCeSyWho5EryomRdI