Changes to the state’s highly successful Graduated Licensing Scheme are set to guarantee new drivers become safe drivers.
Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils’ Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, says the changes, which come into effect from Monday, November 20 are intended to enhance the way in which the scheme prepares beginner drivers – specifically young motorists – to be secure.
“The first six months of solo driving is the highest risk period for novice drivers,” Ms Suitor said.
“Since the introduction of the Graduated Licensing Scheme in 2000, there was a 50 percent decrease in the amount of young drivers killed on NSW roads.
“But, young drivers are still over-represented in road crashes. They constitute 8% of license holders, yet their crashes account for 15 percent of deaths,” Ms Suitor said.
The Graduated Licensing System takes drivers out of their student licence to complete licence with limitations and conditions which are made to make sure they build their knowledge and skills in order that they know risks and are safe on the streets.
The three Major changes include:
Learner drivers will then be asked to complete the Hazard Perception Test before undertaking the practical driving test.
Provisional 1 motorists (red P Platers) no longer need to undertake the Hazard Perception Test to graduate to their provisional 2 license (green P’s).
The Driver Qualification Test was eliminated for P2 drivers to graduate into a complete license, though a six month extension will be levied if a P2 driver receives a suspension for dangerous driving behaviour.
These changes will align the NSW licensing system along with different authorities and better prepare novice drivers to get real world dangers.
There are transitional arrangements in place for current student and provisional 1 and two licence holders.
“By taking the Hazard Perception Test, learner drivers are prepared for common crash situations before they begin driving unsupervised.
“The suspension rules for P2 drivers ensure novice drivers have a great driving record before they can apply for a full licence. Licence suspensions use for getting too many demerit points or to get a greater risk offence such as speeding by 30km/h or more. The additional six months a suspended driver will have to spend on their P2 license will promote safe driving behavior,” Ms Suitor said.
Since October 2017 NSW student drivers can now also use digital logbooks to record their 120 hours of on-road supervised driving.
Ms Suitor said there are three approved programs that student drivers can download free of charge and get an electronic logbook, GPS tracking, automatic weather conditions, video lessons and target setting.
“All learner drivers have the ability to use the Licence Ready, Roundtrip or L2P program as their learner driver logbook. The apps are available at no cost via the Android Play and Apple app shops.
“The programs are designed to not divert learner drivers or their managers while driving and ensure students follow the principles related to the use of cellular phones in automobiles,” Ms Suitor said.
All these license changes will be dealt with in forthcoming ‘Helping Learner Drivers Become Safer Drivers’ workshops that are being held across the three council areas.
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