· The new drive test is being introduced as part of the new Graduated Licensing System (GLS) to:
oBetter assess the ability of licence applicants to handle the demands of solo driving as P1 driver; and
o Motivate learners to better prepare for their Ps by getting 120 hours driving experience in a wide variety of driving conditions.
· The new test:
o Is longer than the current test;
o Provides a better picture of a licence applicant’s driving ability;
o Incorporates a more thorough assessment system;
o Has Immediate termination errors;
o Introduces scoring of critical errors;
o Is made up of two parts which separate less challenging and more challenging driving tasks;
o Involved extensive trialing with learners with varying levels of experience; and
o Is unique to Victoria and is evidence-based.
· Applicants still need to pass the Hazard Perception Test before taking the drive test.
WHY WAS A NEW DRIVE TEST REQUIRED?
· The new drive test is an important part of GLS and is needed to help support the 120 hour requirement for learner drivers. 120 hours has been shown to significantly reduce crashes.
· Key objectives of the new drive test are to:
· Help discriminate between learners with and without 120 hours;
· Motivate learners to get at least 120 hours in a variety of conditions;
· Replace the current test (POLA) which was developed at a time when most learners had low levels of supervised experience;
· Complement the current HPT;
· Introduce a new test which sets the bar higher and is designed to assess more experienced learners; and
· Better assess the ability of licence applicants to handle the demands of solo driving as a P1 driver.
HOW WAS THE NEW TEST DEVELOPED?
· Developed over 18 months from the results of trials with 1300 learners with a range of driving experience;
· Developed by VicRoads with assistance from road safety and test development experts;
· Not based on opinions but based on evidence; and
· Process was scientific and used:
o best research from Australia and overseas
o causes of crashes for newly licenced drivers
o extensive trials with learners
o input by testers and driving instructors
o occupational health and safety as a key consideration in the design of the test.
· 30 minute on-road test (previously 15-20 minutes).
· Has two parts:
o Part 1 – takes 10 minutes and has 7 driving tasks in less challenging driving conditions. Applicants must pass Part 1 before they are permitted to attempt Part 2.
o Part 2 – takes 20 minutes and consists of 14 to 21 day-to-day driving tasks in a range of realistic traffic conditions.
o Applicants must pass both parts of the test to obtain their probationary licence.
· The outcome of the drive test does not depend on a single test score – it depends on the number of Immediate Termination Errors, Critical Errors and performance on the specific driving tasks.
· The test scoring involves:
o Immediate Termination Errors – where the applicant does something to create an unsafe situation. This results in the applicant immediately failing the drive test and the test being terminated.
o Critical Errors – where the applicant makes a serious driving error which does not create any immediate danger. Repetition of this behaviour(s) will fail the applicant and terminate the test.
§ Only 2 critical errors are allowed over the course of the test, if a 3rd occurs the applicant immediately fails and the test is terminated.
§ During Part 1 of the test (less challenging driving conditions), only 1 critical error is allowed, if a 2nd error occurs during this part of the test the applicant immediately fails and the test is terminated.
o In addition, to the Immediate Termination Errors and Critical Errors, points are also awarded for correctly and safely demonstrating key driving skills when completing specific driving tasks.
PASSING THE NEW TEST
· The practical drive test checks that licence applicants can:
o Drive safely;
o Control a vehicle smoothly;
o Obey the road rules; and
o Co-operate with other road users.
· Learners are more likely to pass the practical drive test if they:
o Have had more than 120 hours of supervised driving experience;
o Have had supervised driving experience in a broad range of different conditions – such as at night, in wet weather, and on different types of roads; and
o Can drive safely and legally in different driving situations – such as normal and busy traffic, at intersections and on multilane roads.
LOG BOOK CHECKING
· Log Books will be checked by a VicRoads Licence Testing Officer (LTO) at the start of the drive test appointment before the applicant is taken out in the vehicle.
· All licence applicants who obtained their learner permit on or after 1 July 2007 and are under 21 at the time they sit for their probationary licence test must present a completed Log Book i.e. 120 hours (including 10 hours at night).
· Learners who are aged 21 or older or obtained their permit before 1 July 2007 – do not have to present a Log Book.
· Log Book entries must be completed in pen. Blue and black is preferable (as requested in the Log Book), however any pen colour will be accepted if the entry is legible (i.e. the VicRoads LTO can understand the log entry).
LOG BOOK SCENARIOS
· Pass Log Book Check / Pass Drive Test
o If an applicant meets all the requirements of the Log Book check and passes the Drive Test (and other requirements associated with the appointment), they will be issued with a P1 probationary licence.
· Pass Log Book Check / Fail Drive Test
o If an applicant meets all the requirements of the Log Book check and fails the Drive Test, the log book results will be recorded.
o The applicant is not required to re-present their Log Book, when re-sitting for their Drive Test.
· Fail Log Book Check
o If an applicant fails to meet all the requirements of the Log Book check then they are unable to undertake Drive Test.
o The applicant forfeits their Drive Test appointment, all test fees and must wait at least 6 weeks before they can attempt another test.
o The applicant must re-present their completed Log Book, when presenting for their next test.
Source: VIC ROADS, Driving Instructor Industry Update, 06-2008