11 March 2022

Is the 100 hours of required learner driving failing certain demographics?

| Max O'Driscoll
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Driving instructor and learner driver in car

One Canberra driving instructor believes the ACT’s introduction of a minimum of 100 hours of learner driving is hurting those learners who need their licence the most. Photo: File.

On 1 January 2020, sweeping changes to the ACT Government’s Driver Licensing Scheme came into effect. The centrepiece of these changes was the introduction of a mandatory minimum of 100 hours of driving accompanied by a fully-licensed supervisor for all learner drivers under the age of 25.

At the time, it was a decision that brought the ACT in line with what had been in place across the country, in some cases, for more than a decade.

However, according to Canberra driving instructor Grant Membrey, these changes have failed those who need their licences the most.

“My issue is that people who come from overseas or from single-parent households are denied their licence because of the 100 hours,” Mr Membrey said.

“I see students that start with me, but they can’t finish and they don’t have any other way that they can get their licence.”

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The Murrumbateman-based instructor said while he was familiar with the system through his NSW drivers, the impact of the 100-hour mandate wasn’t apparent until it reached the ACT, where there is greater diversity in the population.

He said in some cases, a student’s only option is to pursue doing their full driving training with an instructor, which can be overwhelmingly expensive or simply give up on getting their licence altogether.

“How does that affect you not having your licence? Where can you live? Where can you work?” Mr Membrey questioned.

“If you want to escape Canberra so you can afford a house, you can’t. It just denies them the options and the life that the rest of us have and I find that terrible.

“They become a second class citizen because they don’t have that opportunity. If they just want to go shopping, you can’t just get in the car and drive.”

He understood the ACT Government thinks they’ve made it fair for all by putting “everyone under the same umbrella”, but he believed that in doing so, they’re failing to understand the diverse needs of their population.

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Mr Membrey believed it was unlikely the ACT Government would make any changes given the current system is easier to manage but felt the focus for learning drivers should be on quality learning experiences over quantity.

“They’ve (ACT Government) done this and that’s it. They won’t change it. It’s not important to them,” Mr Membrey said.

“In today’s world, we talk about equality and we talk about racism and women having the same rights as men. But, if you’re a single mother with kids, you’re not going to be able to do 100 hours. How can you live a normal life without a car and do basic things?

“The people who made these laws don’t understand what some driving students go through. They don’t know all the things they need their licence for. They don’t understand any of this stuff.”

He argued that the introduction of this system has not improved the quality of young drivers on the roads and has led to many choosing to keep fraudulent records of their driving hours.

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James-T-Kirk11:13 am 22 Mar 22

“They’ve (ACT Government) done this and that’s it. They won’t change it. It’s not important to them,” Mr Membrey said.”

You have got to be kidding. Of course its important to them. You *must* be qualified before you drive a motor vehicle. You have to prove that when you are thundering down the road at 100kph that you are unlikely to kill people.

“We talk about equality and we talk about racism and women having the same rights as men. But, if you’re a single mother with kids, you’re not going to be able to do 100 hours. ” These are the demographic we need to be the most skilled. A single mother, distracted by a screaming child in the back seat, simply turns their head to deal with a problem, and a group of preschool children crossing the road dies.-

I hope that merging and keeping left unless overtaking is a focus of the training. I travel from Tuggeranong to Belconnen for work and I observe selfish and idiotic actions on the Parkway with monotonous regularity. The accidents always occur at the same spots as a result of these actions. Many current drivers could benefit from an extra hundred hours of training!

Another tax to restrict the liberty of the rank and file citizen. Akin to the “learn to code” BS, the poor can take a bus. Only the knowing can drive.

Too many licences on issue already because the roads are too crowded. Very clearly one of the reasons is way too many dunderheads are getting licences so the 100 hour threshold is too low and needs to be increased by another 100 hours.

I’m not surprised b Thai day and age that people are willing to forgo safety because of “my diversity” virtue signalling.

They shouldn’t let anyone on the road just because they need to drive without sufficient education. Though they may not be becoming airline pilots, the fatality rates and risk of fatality are higher.

Single mothers get a plethora of entitlements and benefits, are we saying that those that want a car to go shopping, and can afford car / insurance / petrol can’t shell out some payment for lessons?

Single mother with 3 kids would get 22k Newstart 20k family tax benefit.
Rental assistance 4k, concession card.
A once a week driving lesson can be $2000 a year. about the same price they’d pay for license registration and insurance.

The ACT just paid 4.5 million for 5 public housing homes for 5 residents.

Again this is just another symptom of light rail and the lousy bus network.

Was the decision based on evidence? If so, let’s see it.

The 100 hours requirements applied to all is ridiculous and he’s right about that, many people who might be a competent driver with far less hours but can’t afford the extra ‘instruction’ they have to have.
On the other hand, some people will never gain competencey due to a complete lack of aptitude and inability to gain experience no matter how many hours they have. Not everyone has the ability to learn to drive a truck ,bus or fly a plane and far less do, but with cars there’s a culture of entitlement surrounding getting licenses that allows those who’ve done the 100 hours to get on the road when they should be on the bus for everyones sake. My mother has never driven, had the aptitude to drive, owned a car or had any interest in them and raised two kids dragging us to the bus stop daily. She got by and didn’t cause a risk by trying to do something that’s beyond her ability.

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