Changes to the graduated driver training and licensing system in Western Australia

OK so the graduated licence system has changed (again) but what does this mean for new drivers? We will take you step by step through the new process and how it will affect the way we as driving instructors teach learner drivers.

The new system as of October 9th, 2017:

Step 1: Get a learner’s permit

To get a learner’s permit the applicant must be at least 16 years old and have passed a road rules theory test to gain a learner’s licence and start to learn to drive

Step 2: Hold a learner’s permit for at least 6 months

During this time learner driver should be practicing their driving skills with an accredited driving instructor or an eligible supervisor.

Step 3: Sit the Hazard Perception Test

The hazard perception test is a driving simulation done on a computer. You do not need to book the hazard perception test. Just go to your local DVS branch and take a ticket. You can practice the hazard perception test questions online at:

https://www.transport.wa.gov.au/licensing/step-3-complete-hazard-perception-test.asp

Step 4: Log a minimum of 50 supervised driving hours

Learner drivers under the age of 25 must record a minimum of 50 supervised driving hours including at least five hours at night (between sunset and sunrise) before attempting their practical driving assessment. We highly recommend doing driving lessons with a driving instructor before booking your practical driving assessment to ensure you are up to the test standard.

Step 5: The practical driving assessment

After completing the log book hours and at the minimum age of 17, a learner driver can sit their practical driving assessment. Once a leaner has passed the practical driving assessment they will gain a provisional licence. Yay!

To book a practical driving assessment go to:

https://online.transport.wa.gov.au/pdabooking/manage/;jsessionid=sERtgRaPajgJAdHS9-aVeZUSD48F1MBKvsND1jRlmEahi1BbqHsX!-615370520!1716987650?0

The Controversy
Since the change has come into effect there has been some complaints from learners and their parents about the 50-hours. The media announced that the new system will mean learner drivers need to log 50 hours before attempting their practical assessment, 25 more than the previous system. WA learners have in fact always needed to log 50 hours before obtaining P’s. The previous system just separated the 50 hours into two lots of 25. The first 25 hours was to be completed before the practical driving assessment and the second lot of 25 hours completed before the hazard perception test.

So, in fact the process is almost identical, it is just the sequence which has changed and the addition of 5-night time driving hours.

Why do we need a graduated driver training and licencing system? Why not just pass the test and get your licence?
The aim of the graduated licence system is to improve the quality of new drivers and reduce the number of deaths on our roads. In 2016 156 people lost their lives on WA roads. Then add the many hundreds more who were critically injured. Driving in different conditions, at different times of day in different locations is highly recommended when learning to drive.

We highly recommend having lessons with a professional driving instructor while learning to drive. 10 driving lessons may cost you $600 but will improve your driving skill and help keep you safe on the road. A new iPhone costs over $1,000 and yet this item is considered a “must” to most people. Make learning to drive safely and getting driving lessons a must for your leaner driver.

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