Home Auto News A Special License Mandate for High-Powered Cars in Australia

A Special License Mandate for High-Powered Cars in Australia

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U class license

A specific Australian state will necessitate the acquisition of a distinct license for drivers operating high-performance cars.

South Australia is instituting a novel category of driver’s license specifically for “ultra high-powered vehicles,” which will become active from Dec. 1, 2024, as informed by the Australian automotive news site Drive. This new class, known as the “U class,” was integrated into the motor vehicle regulations of South Australia through a modification in late 2022, and the enforcement date was only recently made official.

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This initiative came about after the tragic fatality of 15-year-old Sophia Naismith, who lost her life after being hit by a Lamborghini Huracán in 2019. The unique license will apply to cars that have a minimum power-to-weight ratio of 370 hp per metric ton (1.1 U.S. tons) and a weight less than 9,900 pounds. It is anticipated to encompass roughly 200 vehicle models, though buses and motorcycles will not be included, as stated by Drive. Consequently, a vehicle such as a Huracán will necessitate the exclusive license, whereas a BMW M3 won’t, as highlighted by the website.

Individuals aspiring to obtain a U-class license must complete an online training course that is presently under creation. The curriculum of the course will be centered around the dangers related to the handling of a high-powered vehicle, and acquaintance with technology like driver-assist mechanisms.

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In addition, South Australian drivers who intentionally turn off any “automated intervention system” in a high-powered vehicle, encompassing features like anti-lock brakes, automatic emergency stopping, stability regulation, and traction management, may face penalties up to $5,000 Australian (approximately $3,290 U.S. at the present exchange rates). Furthermore, the South Australian government has escalated punishments, raising the maximum sentence for “driving without due care” resulting in death from 1 year to a 7-year imprisonment term, as detailed by Drive.

In contrast, within the U.S., a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is mandated for sizable commercial automobiles, but a license focused on a car’s potency is an unprecedented concept. Even so, lawmakers are inventing new strategies to reduce speeding, demonstrated by New York State’s current contemplation of a legislative bill that would require speed-limiting devices to be installed in the vehicles of repeat speed-limit offenders.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about U class license

When will the new U class license for ultra high-powered vehicles be implemented in South Australia?

The new U class license will be implemented in South Australia on Dec. 1, 2024.

What led to the creation of the U class license in South Australia?

The tragic death of 15-year-old Sophia Naismith, who was hit by a Lamborghini Huracán in 2019, was a significant factor leading to the creation of the U class license.

Which vehicles will require the U class license?

The special license will be required for cars with a power-to-weight ratio of at least 370 hp per metric ton (1.1 U.S. tons) and weighing less than 9,900 pounds, which is expected to include around 200 models. Buses and motorcycles are exempt.

What are the penalties for disabling an automated intervention system in South Australia?

Drivers in South Australia can be fined up to $5,000 Australian (equivalent to $3,290 U.S. at current exchange rates) if they deliberately disable an “automated intervention system” on a high-powered vehicle.

What is the process for obtaining a U class license?

Those seeking to get a U-class license will need to take an online training course currently in development. The course will focus on the risks associated with driving a high-powered vehicle and familiarization with features like driver-assist systems.

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