The ACT government has abandoned plans to enforce a P-plater curfew after a backlash from politicians and young Canberra drivers.
Provisional licence holders will instead be restricted to carrying one "peer-aged passenger" between 11pm and 5am, under an overhaul of the territory's graduated licensing scheme.
In April, Road Safety Minister Shane Rattenbury announced plans to ban P-platers driving between midnight and 5am, a restriction that he said could result in a 44 per cent reduction in fatal crashes at night.
Of the five fatal crashes on ACT roads in 2017, two involved P-platers and another involved a 22-year-old motorcyclist.
The curfew proposal prompted a backlash from across the political divide; Labor backbenchers and ACT Liberals argued the restrictions discriminated against young people, particularly shift workers.
The government received 4339 responses to public consultation on the proposed changes and people aged 16-25 accounted for almost 57 per cent of total respondents.
A summary report on the feedback said a significant proportion of Canberra's young drivers understood the rationale behind the curfew, but nevertheless considered the restriction an "impediment to their ability to gain independence and would negatively impact their work and social lives".
Announcing the backdown on Wednesday, Mr Rattenbury said while the P-plater curfew had the support of road safety experts, it was clearly opposed by the wider community.
When pressed on whether vocal opposition from government backbenchers forced his hand, the Greens MLA said he had "weighed up all views" before ditching the proposal.
"I think that plenty of people were giving us free advice - we got a lot of it," he said.
Under the new system, which is expected to come into effect in the coming months, P-platers will only be allowed to drive with one passenger aged 16-22 between 11pm and 5am, unless it is a family member or for work.
Mr Rattenbury said the passenger limit would address the most high-risk scenario for young drivers.
"This new approach targets the key risk behaviour that we were worried about, essentially having a carload of friends who can distract a driver and even egg them on to do unsafe things," he said.
ACT Youth Advisory Council committee member Rose Mackie was pleased the government had scrapped the nighttime driving ban, which she described as a "curfew on young people, not just a curfew on drivers".
"The impact on shift workers was a big concern, and so was how it would affect car pooling," Ms Mackie said.
"Young people are used to car pooling because their friends get licences are different times."
ACT Liberals transport spokeswoman Candice Burch welcomed the government's decision to abandon the proposed curfew.
"When the minister announced his plan for a harsh curfew which would ban P-platers from driving between midnight and 5am, the Canberra Liberals warned about its damaging effects on young workers, students and parents," Ms Burch said.
"I’m pleased that minister Rattenbury has seen sense and walked away from the unfair and punitive measures he originally proposed."
The changes also include the introduction of a logbook scheme requiring learners to complete 100 hours of supervised driving, a blanket ban on texting and talking on mobile phones and incentives for good driving records.
P-platers will move from P1 to P2 after 12 months, under the new graduated licence system.
NRMA road safety expert Dimitra Vlahomitros said the new system would encourage learner drivers to abide by the road rules.
“The proposal to provide a 30 per cent discount on the cost of a licence to P2 drivers with a demerit-free P1 record provides just the type of incentive we know resonates with young drivers – more money in their back pockets," Ms Vlahomitros said.
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