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Learner Drivers on the Highways?

By aa - 19 January 2009 123

I’m not sure if many people here have done much interstate driving, but over the past few months, I’ve done a bit. Nearly every times I’ve gone to the coast or to Cooma or to Yass, I’ve been stuck behind a few learner drivers.

Now, I understand they need to learn, but on roads that the limit is 110 and they can’t drive more than 80, I’ve noticed it’s caused a lot of people to get angry and overtake the learner where they shouldn’t.

Back in the days when I got my license, I wasn’t allow to have more than the licensed driver with me when I was on my L’s, has the law changed now because the 3 learners I overtook today had a full car of passengers with them (and they were going 60km/hr on the Federal Highway).

I personally think learner drivers shouldn’t be allowed to drive on roads where the limit is over 100km/hr.

What’s Your opinion?


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123 Responses to
Learner Drivers on the Highways?
aa 11:33 am 19 Jan 09

well P platers aren’t allowed more than one passenger after a certain time (in NSW anyway), so why should learner drivers?

aa 11:32 am 19 Jan 09

shamefos – maybe it is a good idea to do something like that before letting learners out on the main road! The do it for motorbikes, you have to do an upright course that takes a few hours and it teaches you the basics of how to ride. Maybe do something similar where they teach you how to drive, how to take corners, etc etc, then after that you get your learners and are allowed to drive on the road and at the designated speed limit!

jessieduck 11:31 am 19 Jan 09

aa said :

Either way, does anyone know if a learner is allowed to have more than the licensed driver with them in the car?

I just happen to have my Learner licence on me and it is for “C” class vehicles that can seat up to 12 adults including the driver…. personally I would never attempt at driving with more the two passengers at this stage… Plus no one wants to be in the car with me…

jessieduck 11:29 am 19 Jan 09

Lady_from_Holt said :

I can tell you that its not just the drivers sitting behind you while you’re going 80kph in a 100kph zone that get stressed out, its you too!

Absolutly it is stressful but isn’t it best to learn how to deal with stressful situations while you are learning- not when you get handed the golden ticket of your P-plates and you have a car full of rowdy friends to distract you?

shanefos 11:27 am 19 Jan 09

I think it’s a great idea to stop learner drivers from driving at times when the traffic is heavy. In fact, get them off the road altogether, I say! Take it a step further! Why can’t the government fund a purpose-built driving school where the kiddies can learn to drive in a totally safe and totally sheltered environment? That way they’ll be totally prepared the first time they hit the open road and blend in seamlessly with all other drivers… FFS!

Whatsup 11:26 am 19 Jan 09

caf said :

The root problem here is the ridiculous NSW restriction on Learners doing more than 80km/h.

Spot on !

aa 11:26 am 19 Jan 09

I understand they need to learn, but how much experience do they actually gain on a road that nearly straight, that’s 100km long? If you let them drive on those roads, let them do the speed limit then! Or get the person teaching them to drive to teach them to pull over and let the 100 cars queued up behind them to overtake. Plus people arguing about people that live in places like Jindabyne, it would be maybe 10% of the learners on the highway. The 3 learners I overtook on the weekend were ALL from Canberra (or at least the cars they were driving had ACT license plates).
Either way, does anyone know if a learner is allowed to have more than the licensed driver with them in the car?

Thumper 11:23 am 19 Jan 09

The root problem here is the ridiculous NSW restriction on Learners doing more than 80km/h.

Without doubt.

Lady_from_Holt 11:19 am 19 Jan 09

I grew up living out of town and in order to get anywhere, I had to go on the highway. I can tell you that its not just the drivers sitting behind you while you’re going 80kph in a 100kph zone that get stressed out, its you too! I remember being very upset because I knew the cars behind me were angry. Years on, I still have issues and worry about slowing down the people behind me. Its irresponsible of parents to have their children drive on the highway during peak periods if they’re not used to it, and pulling over or merging on the highway when everyone is going 115 – 125kph (we all know no Canberran goes the limit) when you’re a learner is crazy! It’s far too stressful and dangerous for everyone involved.

caf 11:08 am 19 Jan 09

The root problem here is the ridiculous NSW restriction on Learners doing more than 80km/h.

jessieduck 11:04 am 19 Jan 09

justbands said :

As mentioned, they need the experience of driving on a highway. However, learning to drive on the highway on say….the October long weekend, between Jindabyne & Cooma, doing 70-80 when there’s thousands of cars on the road is perhaps NOT a good idea. In fact, it’s a really, really STUPID idea. Speaking from experience here, you may have noticed. 🙂

I agree. BUT what if they are a Jindabyne local and that is their “real-life” driving? There is no point in being shielded from busy roads in wintry conditions if that is what you’ll have to do the week you get your Ps. You are better off doing it with Mum or Dad in the car giving you as much of their advice as they can before you go off and do it on your own.

justbands 11:00 am 19 Jan 09

As mentioned, they need the experience of driving on a highway. However, learning to drive on the highway on say….the October long weekend, between Jindabyne & Cooma, doing 70-80 when there’s thousands of cars on the road is perhaps NOT a good idea. In fact, it’s a really, really STUPID idea. Speaking from experience here, you may have noticed. 🙂

jessieduck 10:57 am 19 Jan 09

Hi AA- ACT Learners can drive at the prescribed speed limit in the state or territory they are driving in. The 80km applies to NSW Learners. NSW Learners are in a bit of a pickle because they do actually have to do highway driving to be eligible for their Ps.

As a late bloomer, I am in the process of getting my Ps at the ripe old age of 29. I really appreciate everyone’s patience while I learn and the drivers on the roads with me have been very kind and patient. No honking or angry overtaking so far!

A lot of families can’t afford to burn through petrol for a “one off” highway cruise with their learner so they take the opportunities to teach them when they can. For some families, that means the L plater doing a highway run with the whole family along for the ride on their summer holiday.

I don’t know if I agree with the NSW log book system but I am sure it has it’s merits. I am under the ACT system and I should be on my Ps by March.I just thought you might enjoy another perspective. I think you should just smile when you come across an L-plater- they are only doing what they have to so they can be an awesome driver like you.

Deckard 10:55 am 19 Jan 09

How about letting the learners drive at 100? Driving at 80 on the Hume Hwy when it’s a little busy is pretty dangerous.

And they have to learn how to drive on the highway at some stage.

I had a feeling that in the ACT learners can drive at 100. It’s just NSW where the Daily Telegraph tells the NSW Govt what to do.

Ian 10:53 am 19 Jan 09

That would make it damn difficult for learners in country towns to learn – given every road outside town is going to be 100 km/h.

Also, learners have to get experience on all types of roads and all conditions.
The key is not that they don’t drive on these roads, but that they have the smarts and courtesy to pull over periodicially if they are not driving at the prevailing traffic speed.

As for people getting angry and doing dangerous overtaking, thats 100% their fault not the learners. They need to suck it up and deal with it, big deal, they’ll get where they are going 5 minutes later.

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