When we speak to people and communities across the State, we hear that our current system of driver licensing is simply not serving Aboriginal people well. We hear about the systemic barriers preventing Aboriginal people from obtaining and holding onto a driver licence and the consequences this has on them, their families and community. Research shows that unlicensed driving plays a significant role in Aboriginal people being killed or injured in car accidents and is one of the leading causes behind the rapid rise in rates of Aboriginal incarceration. With a yawning gap between the life outcomes of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people and the shocking over-representation of Aboriginal people in our justice system – we need to act now. If the government is serious about closing the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in NSW, a sustained and systematic response is required.
This research note explores the barriers to accessing a licence, the consequences of unlicensed driving, and what can be done about this issue.