Learner drivers will be allowed to travel 10km/h faster than they do now and have the option of reducing their supervised driving hours from 120 to 80.
The state government has announced changes allowing young drivers to trade off 40 hours of supervised driving hours in exchange for 10 hours of professional lessons and a safe driver course. Each initiative would attract a credit of 20 hours.
Learners who choose not to take either option will still need to complete 120 hours of supervised driving.
Roads minister Duncan Gay said that from July 1, learners will be allowed to travel up to 90km/hour instead of 80km/hour.
"Parents and young people have been made to feel like criminals," Mr Gay said. "In some people's view, the only way that you can train young people and fix road safety is to penalise them by putting hour after hour after hour onto their licences.
"Currently young people have to do 120 hours - and their parents have to do 120 hours with them.
"It frankly is a sentence on families across the state. Do we get better drivers at the end of this? The verdict is out on that."
Mr Gay said the NSW Auditor-General had recommended a review of learner speed limits.
He said the safer drivers' course, available from July 1, will involve theoretical and practical coaching.
“It also teaches learner drivers about gauging road conditions, seeing issues that could affect them and making safe decisions,” he said.
“This is a first step in rewarding the state's younger drivers for learning safer behaviour behind the wheel.
“Young drivers are tragically over-represented in the NSW road toll and we want to ensure they are all given the opportunity to learn about road safety while they are still learning the basics of driving.”
Mr Gay said the course would be rolled out gradually.
“The course deals with different road conditions, understanding factors beyond a driver's control and also helps identify risks on the road," he said.
“We recommend that learners enrol in the course when they have 50 hours completed in their logbook. By that stage they will have basic driving skills and will understand and appreciate the lessons they will be taught.
“This is a different approach to conventional driver training, which focuses more on the mechanics of driving and road rules.”
Mr Gay said the course was developed by road safety experts, including representatives from the Centre for Road Safety, the Roads and Maritime Services, the NSW Police, road safety researchers and education specialists.
"The course has also been supported by an advisory panel which included industry and community representatives including the NRMA, driver trainer associations and community-based road safety education providers," he said.
“The course will help those young drivers who struggle to log 120 hours behind the wheel while on their L-plates while at the same time addressing safety issues they will face when they first drive solo."
Mr Gay said the course cost will be capped at an "affordable price" and would be announced on July 1.
He said the course costs would be subsidised by revenue for each participant and any additional cost of delivering the course will be covered by revenue raised from fines.