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New drivers put under the microscope

By MsJane 17 April 2014 24


Attorney-General Simon Corbell is asking the Canberra community to participate in the ACT Driver Survey and have a say on how to improve road safety for Learner and Provisional licence holders.

The survey is being conducted as part of the ACT Graduated Driver Licensing Scheme review.

“The review is looking into a range of options to improve the safety of new drivers, such as minimum supervised driving hours and passenger restrictions,” Mr Corbell said.

In 2012, 14 per cent of drivers involved in casualty crashes in the ACT were provisional licence holders, despite only representing about 7 per cent of all licence holders.

“As research has shown that inexperience is a significant factor in the rate of novice driver crashes, the survey also includes specific questions about the community’s experiences as novice drivers.

“While it is appropriate for the review to have a strong focus on improving road safety outcomes, the Government is aware of the possible impact that some restrictions and sanctions can have on young drivers and their families. Consideration will be given to feedback about the potential need for exemptions in particular circumstances.”

The ACT Driver Survey can be completed at Canberra Connect Shopfronts and online at Further information on the review is available at

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New drivers put under the microscope
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VYBerlinaV8_is_back 7:49 pm 21 Apr 14

banco said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Raise the overall standard of driving by retesting everyone each time they renew their license. Increase license price to cover this cost.

But of course no government will do this, because they will get voted out by the many people who would fail the test.

Let’s just wrap everyone in cotton wool and not let them leave their house while they are at it.

Absolutely. I mean, it’s not like having a test that required actual skills would require people to develop said skills in order to pass.

Let’s just leave things the way they are, then, and accept a few deaths here and there. Doing anything positive would be just like wrapping cotton wool around everyone, right? Better still, let’s get rid of compulsory training, and tests altogether. Then we won’t need licenses either. Everybody wins!

Solidarity 6:14 pm 21 Apr 14

OpenYourMind said :

Solidarity said :

Tenpoints said :

1) Manual cars with manual clutches are getting less and less common. I reckon in 20 years only purists will still be driving manuals.
2) What’s the best way to get experienced? Driving! The logbook is simply a way to validate your driving experience to the authorities. If you scrap the logbook how will you get new drivers with actual experience and not zero experience on a real road with real hazards.
3)Agree, car control is an essential skill to have. It’s saved me from going sideways off the road many a time.
5)Agree. Note that speed limits are limits however. Any training scheme should not encourage drivers to speed in good conditions, rather to slow down below the limit in POOR conditions.

I really don’t see why it’s such a tall order to enforce mandatory driving skills training for all drivers. Driving a car is not a cheap exercise under anyone’s perspective and $250 for a skills course is negligble compared to the cost of vehicle damage and injury caused by unsafe driving. It’s also pretty fun to do the course!

1) Learning to drive a car with a manual transmission gives you much more understanding on how a car works, essential knowledge when it comes to driving a car. If you can’t complete the test in a manual car, there is always the bus.

2) I mean logbook as in ticking off the competencies one by one, the logbook as in getting lots of hours under your belt I 100% agree with.

I used to think along the same lines as you about learning on manuals. The simple fact is that manuals are getting relegated to anachronisms in the same way as spark advances, chokes, magnetos etc. Sure they taught you about how an engine worked, but that knowledge is irrelevant.

Same for skid control. People think that learning to control a car in a skid is the most important skill in driver training. Nah! You have to work really hard to put a modern stability controlled car in a decent skid.

There’s far more important things particularly around the consequences of inattention etc. Cars already look after skid control, braking lockup and now even handle situations where we have failed to brake in time. Get with the times, my friend.

“modern cars do everything for you, so why would you need to learn how to control is?”

And that, is 100% the problem here. People like you, with attitudes like that.

wildturkeycanoe 11:31 pm 20 Apr 14

lostinbias said :

DrKoresh said :

Madam Cholet said :

My main concern is that young people are learning from their parents who flout road rules every time they drive, whether that be speeding, not indicating, tailgating, driving in the right hand lane when you are not over-taking…..all the things we see on a very regular basis. I think that learner a should have lessons from a qualified instructor – at the very least a minimum number that is perhaps a significant percentage of the average number of lessons taken by your average learner. I know it can get expensive but holding a driving licence and being let loose on the roads is a privilege not a right.

I have noticed more driver training companies getting about on the roads lately so maybe it’s becoming more popular and there is a generation of parents who care enough about their kids to get them some lessons. I learnt to drive in the UK, back when it cost £10 per lesson. I had 20 lessons in a manual car and passed my test first time. I was a confident driver but was not allowed by my instructor to take my test until he thought I was ready and safe.

I have known people in Australia who have taken their tests after 4 lessons in an automatic vehicle. That these inexperienced people are on our roads is utterly terrifying to me. One girl I knew passed here test after four lessons but admitted she didn’t like being out in the car. She then transferred to driving a manual after a year with no further lessons. How is this allowable?

Can we put a filter in on here that just changes all of Madam’s posts to “Please, somebody think of the children!”? It’d just save everyone a bunch of time.

I don’t know, I find it a lot more constructive than the “HURR YOUNG PEOPLE THESE DAYS” posts we often see….

wildturkeycanoe said :

What these young learners need is to get behind the wheel of a car on a gravel road out in the bush and wide enough to not hit any obstacles. Then with an experienced driver in the passenger seat guiding them they can unleash everything, learning from experience what happens on a slippery surface if you do the wrong thing. It can also be a great tool for teaching correction and over correction, the difference in braking distance from normal road conditions and if lucky enough they may roll the car doing these maneuvers. That is an experience that will teach most people what not to do in the real world and for several years they might drive to the road rules. Note: this is not recommended to be done in a valuable car, preferably one with limited life left such as a Mitsubishi Lancer, Ford Laser or Hyundai Coupe. Unfortunately all small cars are front wheel drive nowadays so driving techniques and vehicle handling have gone out the window. I blame modern thinking for this fatal flaw because rear wheel drive vehicles are much better in handling when conditions are wet and slippery. How many front wheel drive cars do you see in racing, be it rally or road? Has to say something for old school ways! Also, we have become too reliant on computers to do our thinking for us, with ABS, parking sensors, stability control, airbags, etc. If we feel vulnerable we won’t be so tempted to do risky things, but once inside the cocoon of comfort new drivers will feel invincible. This is not how anybody should perceive their time on the road, rather, they should realize how deadly the car can become.

…which I expected from you, but on the contrary I somewhat like your post.

I am glad and worried that you remember me after all this time.
I must say after driving today, the P platers on our roads are atrocious. Firstly, I had a P’er in front of me coming to a set of lights, with 1 car stopped in the left lane. As we approached, with my intent to get in front of the slow P driver before they came to a stop, they merged to the right lane. I went left, expecting the same slow progression from the P driver. As we approached the lights, they changed to green so I went back to the right in anticipation of getting a bit more fuel efficiency at not having to stop and tail the moving vehicle in the right. This all worked well as we proceeded through the intersection but just after we got to the other side of the lights, passing the stationary vehicle, this driver decided to apply the brakes abruptly. There were no kangaroos jumping in front, no cyclists swerving off their course, no other visible reasons to stop in the manner they did. All I could see whilst slowing from 60km/h to around 10, was the drivers head pointing down to their navel. All I can assume as I nearly hit their rear bumper was that they were texting or spilled a drink on their lap. As I then overtook on the left, accelerating from this crazy behavior, they looked straight at me with a smile as if nothing had happened! Un**$$%%believable!! I could recount at least another dozen P plater incidents from the rest of our drive to and from the other end of Canberra, but they all highlight the diminished standards that our testing procedures use to pass these incompetent drivers.
Yes, I might seem like I am on a high horse, but when the people who don’t obey the road rules let alone the rules of common courtesy are those who have just got their license, I wonder how the system lets them get away with it. Seeing cars indicate left when turning right, parking parallel when it is nose to kerb parking, going the wrong way on one way streets after going past me on the wrong side through parking spaces and other illegal activities [all in one day mind you, just an hour of driving] I am terrified for our future generations.
Rant over, I’m old school and obsolete, disregard if you just don’t care. It is the way this world has become. 🙁

magiccar9 8:09 pm 20 Apr 14

bd84 said :

…Otherwise it should only be fully accredited driving instructors providing lessons.

I’m sorry but I’ve seen more poor driving habits from ‘accredited driving instructors’ recently than anything. Failure to indicate, eating behind the wheel, excessive speeding, and being on the phone when driving are a few that come to mind.

Frankly the only way ‘kids’ are going to learn is if they ACTUALLY want to. I’m young, and I chose to learn the correct behaviours when I was learning to drive. I ignore all phone related activities in the car out of principal – something kids these days don’t know a lot about.

Perhaps if we trust them to look after themselves for once they won’t be so reliant on the rest of us for help. We spoon feed our children everything these days which leaves very little for them to experience themselves.

My solution would be to tell the learners / P-platers to take some responsibility and leave it at that.

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