Learners Resources | Eastern Driving School

Driving With Trams

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Melbourne modern tram

Road Law and When You Should Give Way to Trams in Melbourne, Australia

Trams may seem a bit troublesome to drivers at times, but it’s worthwhile to consider what a valuable addition they are to Melbourne. They help to reduce traffic congestion on the roads by offering people an alternative way to travel, and they provide a safe, environmentally friendly way to cross the city. Make sure you are familiar with the rules concerning trams on the road, not only to avoid an expensive fine but also to keep everyone safe and happy as they travel.

Recognising Tramways

You will recognise a tramway because it will have overhead signs that say, ‘Tram Only’ and two solid yellow lines or raised dividing strips beside the tram tracks. Do not drive in a tramway or cross the raised dividing strips unless you need to avoid an obstacle. Otherwise, you could be fined $117.

Recognising Tram Lanes

Tram lanes have overhead signs that say, ‘Tram Lane,” and a solid yellow line beside the tram tracks. Some tram lanes are full-time, and some are part-time, in which case a sign will tell you at what times it is a tram lane. When it is outside these hours, you can drive in the tram lane.

If you need to turn right or avoid something in the road, you can drive in a tram lane for up to 50 metres. Only do so if you will not cause any delay to a tram. If you drive in a tram lane, you could be fined $117. If there are breaks in the dividing strips, you can drive through, but you must give way to trams or vehicles already on the road you are entering.

Waiting Behind a Tram

It is against the law to pass a tram when it has stopped and opened its doors. If you try to pass a tram when it has stopped, you could well be reported to Victoria Police. Be aware that they will take action!

If you are behind a tram and it stops and opens its doors, you must wait. Stay level with the rear of the tram until it has closed its doors and all of the passengers have cleared the road before you proceed. Once the doors are closed and it is safe, you can pass a stationary tram at a tram stop but you must not go any faster than 10km/h. You could be fined $292 for failure to adhere to these rules.

Safety Zones

Safety Zones are located near a tram stop and are clearly marked with a yellow sign. There will be a traffic island to protect pedestrians. You can pass a tram that is stopped at a safety zone; proceed at a slow, safe speed, be aware of pedestrians, and drive to the left of the safety zone.

Sharing the Road with Trams

Do not move into the path of an approaching tram. When you come to a roundabout, give way to all trams. If you fail to do so, you risk a fine of $204. Do not move into the path of a tram or you could be fined $117.

The Melbourne Hook Turn

When driving in Melbourne, be aware of the hook turn, a maneuver designed to keep the center of the road clear for trams. The hook turn only applies in the CBD; since cars are not allowed in tram lanes, it is not possible to have dedicated lanes for turning right. Instead, when you want to turn right, you do so from the left with the help of the traffic lights. Indicate right but stay left while your light is green so traffic and trams can pass. As your lights turn red, you complete your right turn. Remember to keep clear of the pedestrian crossings.

You must not make a U-turn across a solid line in the centre of the road or you could face a fine of $233.

Do not park near tram stops. Park at least 20 metres away, unless a sign permits parking nearer to the tram stop. The fine for parking too close is $117.

The fine for double parking is $70.

These are the current laws in Melbourne at the time of writing. Remember to adhere to them at all times to keep yourself safe, as well as other road users, pedestrians, and people using the trams. Thanks for reading and enjoy driving around Melbourne!

 

References:

http://www.yarratrams.com.au/using-trams/tram-safety/driving-with-trams/

https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/safety-and-road-rules/road-rules/a-to-z-of-road-rules/trams

http://www.onlymelbourne.com.au/hook-turns#.V8EwgmXSdEI

Medicines Can Impair Your Driving

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“Taking medicine is a normal part of life for many of us, especially as we get older. But some commonly used
medicines can impair your driving ability, and can place you, your passengers and other road users at risk.
Research into senior drivers, has shown that use of benzodiazepines, a class of medicines used for sleep or
anxiety problems, increases the crash risk by 5%.”
A brochure containing this information, plus more advice about how medicines affect driving; which medicines
can impair driving and what to do if you are taking medicines, is a good resource for business. Your learner
drivers need to be aware of what medicines can affect their driving and you should be aware of what
medicines your students are taking.
The key point for all drivers is to “discuss your medicines with your doctor or
pharmacist to understand how they might affect your ability to drive safely.”
The brochure “Always ask if your medicine will affect your driving” is produced by
the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, VicRoads and Transport Accident
Commission.

Driving Fatigue.

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Fatigue results in thousands of crashes every year.

What do we mean by “fatigue” You are fatigured when you become tired and can’t concentrate on your driving. You may even have a micro-sleep* or fall asleep at the wheel.

Micro- sleeps {nodding off} typically lasts between 2 and 20 seconds – but if you are travelling at 100 /h, in one second the car will have gone 28 m without you being in control.

How do we know?

Unlike alcohol-related crashes, there are no simple tests to determine if fatigue was a cause in a crash.

Investigators suspect fatigue as a cause when;

> The crash occurs late at night, early in the morning or late in the afternoon,

> A single car has run off the roadway.

> Nothing indicates the driver tried to avoid the crash {e.g. no skidmarks}

There are many warning signs for fatigue. A combination of any of the following signals that the driver is becoming fatigured and needs to take a break:

> yawning

> eyes feeling sore or heavy

> vision starting to blur

> start seeing things

> daydreaming and not concentrating

> becoming impatient

> feeling hungry or thirsty

> reactions seem slow

> feeling stiff or cramped

> driving speed creeps up or down

> starting to make poor gear changes

> wandering over the centre line or onto the road edge

What has research told us about fatigue?

Everybody needs sleep and we all have our own patterns of sleepiness and wakefulness. Fatigue {sometimes referred to as drowsiness or sleepiness} causes crashes because it slows down the driver’s reaction times and affects their scanning abilities and information processing skills.

> Although the need for sleep varies among individuals, sleeping eight hour in 24-hour period is common.

> The effect of sleep loss builds up. Regularly losing 1 to 2 hours sleep a night can create a “sleep debt” and lead to chronic sleepiness over time – and cause involuntary micro-sleeps.

> Just being in bed doesn’t mean a person has had enough sleep. Disrupted sleep has the same effect as lack of sleep. Illness, noise, activity, lights, etc, can interrupt and reduce the amount and quality of sleep.

Fatigue can strike any driver, but you are at greater risk as a young person if you:

> Combine heavy study or work with leisure and late night socialising.

> Change your sleep patterns and reduce night time sleep.

> Drink alcohol and or use other drugs.

Here are some ideas to minimise fatigue when you are driving:

> Plan to get sufficient and regular sleep. Most people need around 7-8 hours in every 24-hour period. Making do with less sleep will affect your driving.

> If you are sleepy or tired, don’t drink even small amounts of alcohol. Alcohol acts as a depressant on the central nervous system and can make you even more tired or less alert.

> Try not to drive during your normal sleeping hours. Your body works in a rhythm or pattern and when you upset this rhythm it can badly affect you.

> If possible take a taxi or a lift with another person rather than driving during your normal sleep times. {you can always pick your car up in the morning if you have to .

> Think about what activity you were doing before the drive. If it was physically or mentally demanding then fatigue may “kick in” within a few minutes of beginning the trip.

> Know the signs that indicate you are tired.

> If you are fatigued , you must stop driving. Let a passenger drive or take a short “power nap” before continuing with the trip.

> Fatigue can set in even on short local trips. If there is no alternative to travelling a short distance when you are tired then make sure you make your journey as uncomfortable as possible – too cold, noisy or windy for example. If this works it won’t work for long and if it doesn’t work you are putting yourself at great risk and you should stop.

 

Source: Road to Solo Driving

Suburbs Areas

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Popular Driving Lessons Areas:

Abbotsford | Albert Park | Ashburton | Ashwood | Balwyn | Balwyn North | Bayswater | Bayswater North | Belgrave | Belgrave Heights | | Bentleigh | Blackburn | Blackburn North | Blackburn South | Boronia | Box Hill | Box Hill North | Box Hill South | Burnley | Burwood | Burwood East | Camberwell | Canterbury | Caulfield | Chadstone | Cheltenham | Clayton | Croydon | Croydon Hills | Croydon North | Croydon South | Doncaster | Doncaster East | Donvale | Ferntree Gully | Glen Waverley | Glen Iris | Hawthorn | Heathmont | Hughesdale | Huntingdale | Kallista | Kalorama | Kew | Keysborough | Kilsyth | Knox | Kooyong | Kilsyth South | Lysterfield | Malvern | Melbourne | Menzies Creek | Middle Park | Mitcham | Monbulk | Mont Albert | Montrose | Mooroolbark | Mount Waverley | Mt Evelyn | Mulgrave | Nunawading | Oakleigh | Olinda | Park Orchards | Prahran | Richmond | Ringwood | Ringwood East | Ringwood North | Rowville | Sassa Fras | Scoresby | Selby | Silvan | South Yarra | St Kilda | Surrey Hills | Tecoma | Templestowe | Toorak | Tremont | Vermont | Victoria | Wantirna | Warrandyte | Warranwood | Wheelers Hill | Windsor | Wonga Park | Yarra Ranges | Australia

To see more our driving lesson areas, visit Suburb Area.

Car Maintenance for Learners

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Most learner drivers need not worry about car maintenance, as they often use their parent’s cars for practice. However, proper car maintenance is an important part of car ownership and will play an important role in a driver’s financial life. It’s thus important that learner’s know the basics of keeping cars maintained as part of their driver education.

The general guidelines are to service your car every six months or so (~10,000 km), though this varies significantly depending on your driving habits and what kind of car you drive. Building a good relationship with a mechanics is very important, as it will enable you to get a good feel for what is going on with your car at any point in time. You can also save money by servicing your car yourself, though this takes time and sometimes training.

Learners can gain an insight into what car maintenance involves by accompanying the car owner to the garage at their next service. Ask questions, and get involved!

Lessons for the Long Term

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Too many learner drivers tend to spend the duration of their permit with one goal above all else – passing the drive test and getting their probationary licence. While this may seem self-evident at first, we want to remind learners that getting their licence is actually only secondary – the main aim of learning to drive is just that, learning to drive, safely and confidently.

Anyone with enough time can get the required 120 hours. What distinguishes good drivers from bad ones is the quality of those hours. If a learner spends all their time picking up bad driving habits from their supervisors, driving in a small range of conditions and ignoring the rules of the road, they are more likely to have serious accidents and engage in ‘hooning behaviour’.

At ESDS, we focus on equipping the learner with the skills that they need to drive safely and confidently in the long run, not just well enough to get their licence. We believe that driver education leads to greater safety for everyone on our roads, and we do all we can to facilitate it.

We provide lessons at competitive rates with competent instructors. All of our instructors are patient and equipped to handle learners of any skill level. We highly recommend driving lessons to improve the quality of the learners driving, enable them to pass the probationary licence drive test and ultimately become a safe, sensible driver on the road. Give us a call to arrange your next lesson!

Driving Lessons in Winter Weather

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The winter months can be the most hazardous for drivers. Heavy rain, fog and even ice and snow all pose risks on the road. Slow traffic through peak-hour rain can provoke dangerous road-rage and driving can get ever-more aggressive at this time of the year. It’s important that learner drivers learn how to manage these risks effectively and negotiate difficult conditions safely and confidently.

There’s no time like winter to start with professional driving lessons. With ESDS, a professional instructor is there to guide learners through every aspect of driving, including parking techniques, road rules, navigation, road courtesy and, most importantly, road safety. In difficult driving conditions, it’s easy for inexperienced driver to panic. This unfortunately increases their risk of having an accident. Driving lessons builds a learner driver’s confidence and enables them to make sound decisions no matter what the conditions are like.

Our instructors will guide learners through situations particular to winter road conditions, should they arise. For example, when do you use your high-beams (fog lamps)? How fast should you go in the wet? How do you anticipate what other drivers will do in low light conditions? What will cause you to lose control of the car? All of these are important skills, not only for passing the drive test, but also for your safety in the future. Call us today to arrange your driving lesson.

Interesting Facts — Did you Know–?

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The ADTA attended the Australian College of Road Safety Conference in Melbourne in September and obtained some interesting information.

For instance……

Australia is now outside the top ten OECD countries for road fatalities. The safest countries are Sweden, The Netherlands and The United Kingdom.

By 2020 road deaths will be the third most common cause of death

10% of drivers are involved in 50% of crashes

Fatigue contributes to 20% of crashes

90% of crashes are due to the behaviour / performance of the driver as opposed to driving conditions, vehicle malfunction or road structures.

A teenage driver travelling with a teenage passenger is 50% more likely to be involved in a crash.

Ten years ago there was only 5 one star ANCAP rated cars available. Now three quarters of new cars have 4 or 5 stars.

A 2 star car has double the accident / injury risk of a 5 star car.

Probationary drivers would be 80% safer if they drove 5 star cars, which would equate to 15% less road fatalities.

Wire rope barriers and bitumen on the side of roads with ripple strips lead to a 60%-90% decrease in serious injuries and fatalities.

Sweden has a default speed limit of 70kmph, compared with ours which is 100kmph

{Information provided by Australian Driver Trainers Association {Vic} Inc.

Driving Lessons and Safety

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Young drivers are at the highest risk of any age group when it comes to fatal car accident statistics. Although Learner drivers are new to the roads and generally have no prior experience driving, they have the lowest fatality rate of any age group on our roads. Why do young drivers go from being innocuous to the most dangerous demographic of drivers? It’s all got to do with attitude. Young drivers relish the freedom when they finally obtain their P’s. As a consequence, there’s a lot that can go wrong.

Learning to drive without a qualified instructor is detrimental to the ability of young drivers. Though many parents are confident and often considered ‘good’ drivers, bad habits naturally accumulate with age. These are transferred to your children, possibly by accidental misinformation or lenient supervision. It’s nothing personal – we’re all human and make mistakes, after all, but don’t you want the best for your child?

Most learner drivers need some formal instruction to simply pass their Probationary Licence Test – parent supervision alone isn’t usually enough. However, to further ensure their safety on the roads, you need a patient, knowledgeable instructor who will guide your child through the ins and outs of driving. Doing so will enculture them with safe driving habits, making them less likely to take dangerous risks on the road.

Henceforth, Eastern Suburbs Driving School’s mission is to create drivers who will not only pass their P plate test, but also make safe, rational decisions on the road to protect themselves and those around them.

Parents of Young Learner Drivers

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As much as we’d like to, the driving school can’t be there for all 120 hours prior to a learner’s P-plate test. The young driver must build independence and confidence by driving with a parent; developing and practicing the skills they have gained in their lessons. Parents play a crucial role in the development of a young learner driver, as many of their driving habits are passed on to their children. This can pose a problem if these habits are not conducive to proper driving technique.

It’s essential that all parents with children who are learning to drive brush up on the road safety rules, and know where their own technique’s strengths and weaknesses lie. This way, they can be more wary of passing along their errors. A few examples would include placement of feet in an automatic car, or starting the car in an improper fashion. These mistakes, though minor, can contribute to the failure of a drive test.

To ensure that your young learner driver learns the best driving habits, we recommend that you book regular driving lessons with the Eastern Suburbs Driving School. Our driving instructors impart correct, time-honoured techniques of driving to ensure that their students are amongst the safest on the roads. As a result, we have on of the highest first-time pass rates around.

A mixture of lessons and independent practice is essential for the development of a young learner driver. Parents who follow this strategy and brush up on the road rules before taking their child out on the road are destined for success. Who knows – you might even learn something about your own driving!

For more information contact us at Eastern Suburbs Driving School.