Frightening moment that ended teen’s driving test

 

A DRIVING test turned into a harsh lesson for a Gold Coast teen, who says she became a victim of a hit and run minutes into her exam.

Burleigh's Holly Simmons, 17, was sitting for her first P1 test on Thursday afternoon when, not long after starting at the Burleigh Waters Transport and Main Roads building, her car was rammed by another vehicle driven by a man who she alleges was using his mobile phone.

Ms Simmons said she was waiting for a green light on Southport Burleigh Rd at Varsity Lakes when, out of nowhere, she was hit from behind.

She claims the driver in front of her was also on their phone and had failed to take off when the light turned green, which she believes led to being hit from behind.

Ms Simmons said the 22-year-old man whose car hit her damaged the rear of her new Renault Megane.

"He did not say sorry," she said. "When confronted (by the driving instructor) the young man drove over the median strip, through the car park and out the entry.

"It gave me a huge fright. It just went from bad to worse.

"My driving test was terminated and I did not get my Ps."

Holly Simmons from Burleigh Waters was involved in a hit in run yesterday while completing her P-plate test. Man on his phone ran up the back of her new car. Picture: Glenn Hampson.
Holly Simmons from Burleigh Waters was involved in a hit in run yesterday while completing her P-plate test. Man on his phone ran up the back of her new car. Picture: Glenn Hampson.


The teen said the crash ruined her week, not to mention her car.

"It ruined my week. I was so excited to get my licence,'' she said.

"I had plans to go up and see my boyfriend and it ruined that, it ruined my car, and it shattered my confidence. I think it is unfair."

Ms Simmons described the experience as a learning curve.

"My examiner made a point how bad it is to drive with your phone,'' she said.

"I do not think people know how bad the phone problem is and the ripple effect it can have.

"It is an epidemic and a lesson has been learnt."

Police are investigating the crash after Ms Simmons made a complaint yesterday.

The state's leading motoring body, RACQ, said Ms Simmons' case was common.

RACQ spokeswoman Renee Smith said the chances of a crash rose dramatically if drivers were on the phone.

"The reality is you are four times more likely to have a crash when using your phone while driving," she said.

"Without a doubt the number of people driving distracted is on the rise as more and more people are addicted to their mobile phones.

"It is one of the biggest dangers we have on our roads right now."

Queenslanders caught using their phones while driving will be hit hard in their hip pocket from February 1, 2020, with fines increasing from $391 and three points, to $1000 and four demerit points.

The State will also trial hi-tech mobile cameras, recently introduced by NSW to detect mobile usage.

The crackdown will mean drivers on learners permits or P-plates could lose their licence from just one offence.


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