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Journeys : Dec Jan 2010
The final phase of refor ms aimed at ensuring lear ners are safer drivers by the time they are ready to go solo was launched by the State Gover nment earlier this year. Unfortunately, learner and provisional drivers account for almost one in five of the serious injuries and fatalities on Tasmanian roads. This trend is particularly apparent during the first six months after obtaining a provisional driver's licence, but can actually last for several years. This is prim arily because they have not had the wide range of experiences they need to drive safely by themselves. The latest reforms to Tasmania's novice driver licensing system have one simple objective -- to reduce the number of serious injuries and deaths from road crashes, especially those involving novice drivers. For this reason Tasmania has introduced a Graduated Driver Licensing Scheme (GDLS). The GDLS is a comprehensive approach to lear ning how to drive, specifically concentrating on providing young drivers with improved practical driving skills, experience and good driving habits before they can be issued with a provisional licence. The development of the system has been based on research that indicates: • Experience reduces road crashes • Learners under supervision are a low-risk group • Motivation and attitude to r isk-taking are as important in improving driver safety as practical driving skills • Learners must develop pr actical driving skills before they are able to develop higher-order skills For learners, the minimum time required to hold a licence has been increased from six to 12 months. The extended 12-month period is divided into two stages -- first, a three-month stage, at the end of which is a new practical driving assessment that has been introduced to assess basic car handling skills and knowledge. It is highly recommended that lear ners have a minimum of 30 hours' driving experience in a range of conditions, before they attempt the first assessment. This is followed by a nine-month stage, in which lear ner drivers must complete, as a minimum, the 50 mandatory hours of super vised driving before proceeding to the second practical driving assessment that will assess more advanced driving skills, such as hazard perception, responsiveness and decision- making. It is so important for novices to take plenty of time to ensure they are ready for the assessments. In cases where completing the 50 hours would be difficult due to genuine social or financial hardship, the State Government is Novice driver licensing reforms providing additional support to establish programs that will assist learners to achieve the required number of super vised driving hours. These reforms fit perfectly with those from the first phase, which reinforced good driving practices and compliance with road rules by rewarding offence-free driving and imposing additional penalties for illegal and unsafe driving behaviour. Provisional drivers who progress through the system without breaking the road r ules not only gain their full licence but also receive a refund of their provisional licence fees. By contrast, additional penalties for novice drivers who disobey driving laws will see them delayed in their progress towards a full licence. Provisional drivers should also note that this phase introduces two new P1 re-start offences; these are failing to display P plates and failing to wear an approved motorcycle helmet. For more information, the Department of Infrastr ucture, Energy and Resources has launched a Novice Reforms website at w w w.tran sport.tas.gov.au THE PRE-LEARNER STAGE THE P2 STAGE THE L1 LEARNER STAGE THE L2 LEARNER STAGE THE P1 STAGE L1 P1 P2 L2 TASMANIAN FULL LICENCE Driver Knowledge Test L1 Licence issued Minimum 3 months Valid for 3 years No Logbook Required Supervisory Driver required L Plates Maximum 80km/h No towing Provisional (P1) Licence Minimum 12 months P Plates Required Maximum 80km/h Nil Alcohol Provisional (P2) Licence: - Aged 18-23 Minimum 2 years - Aged 23-25 Minimum 1 year or until 25 (whichever is longer) - Aged 25+ Minimum 1 year Nil Alcohol P1 Driving Assessment L2 Licence issued Minimum 9 months Valid for 3 years Logbook (50 hours of super visory driving) Supervisory Driver required L Plates Maximum 80km/h No towing L2 Driving Assessment Full Licence Graduated Driver Licensing Scheme Tasmania's graduated driver licensing scheme encourages learner s to get lots of super vised practice and experience before driving on their own. The more driving experience your learner gets the safer provisional driver they'll become . The gr aduated driver licensing scheme looks like this: In our community December 09 / January 10 7
October November 2009
Feb March 2010