A VICTORIAN coroner wants authorities to consider a night-time driving ban after a drunken, high-speed crash that killed five youths.
Steven Johnstone, 19, had a blood alcohol reading of 0.19 and reached speeds around 200km/h before he slammed his car into a tree in Mill Park on January 17, 2010.
Mr Johnstone, his brother William Te-Whare, 15, Ben Hall, 19, Matthew Lister, 17, and Anthony Iannetta, 18, were killed instantly, with the force of the collision uprooting the roadside tree.
Coroner Heather Spooner yesterday called for an examination of the effectiveness of night driving restrictions for young drivers currently in place in Western Australia.
But she questioned how effective such laws would be when young drivers such as Mr Johnstone flout existing road rules.
Ms Spooner said Mr Johnstone drove as if immune from the laws on the night of the accident, running red lights, overtaking illegally and using his mobile phone.
"The extensive array of road safety measures in place that were designed to prevent such a horrific crash from occurring sadly had no impact on Mr Johnstone," she said.
"A driver such as Mr Johnstone clearly presents a significant challenge to road safety agencies."
She called the accident a "tragic waste of life" prompted by a driver who was "grossly intoxicated and driving at ferocious and excessive speeds".
Handing down her findings in Victorian Coroners Court, Ms Spooner also questioned the need for cars which top speeds of 200km/h.
"It is difficult to comprehend why it is necessary for our motor vehicles to be capable of travelling at such speeds well in excess of the maximum speed limit imposed on our public roads," she said.
Mr Johnstone was driving a Ford Falcon XR-6.
Ms Spooner urged VicRoads to explore penalising passengers who knowingly break the law which only permits a P-plate driver to carry one passenger of a similar age.
Mr Johnstone had only had his P-plate licence a year and had been twice caught for speeding before the fatal crash.
Police estimate his car was travelling at a minimum of 150km/h when he lost control and 106km/h when it hit the tree.
A witness in a taxi on the same road on which Johnstone crashed described his driving as "something that you would hear and see on a race track".
"The car went past us with noise and a speed of nothing I have ever seen on a legal road in my life," the witness told police.