The amount of time a learner driver spends on the road is very important. The main reason new drivers are over-represented in crashes is that they lack experience in dealing with a variety of driving situations. In fact, research indicates that learner drivers who increase their supervised on-road experience can reduce their crash risk by 30 per cent in the first two years of solo driving. Learner drivers under supervision have a very low involvement in crashes. It is only when they begin to drive solo that their involvement in crashes increases.
Many learner drivers get tuition from professional driving instructors, but most will also want additional driving practice and some tuition from a parent, other relative or a friend.
Learner licences issued from 1 July 2007 will have to log at least 120 hours of supervised driving.
From 19 December 2009, there are changes to the Graduated Licensing Scheme for novice drivers. Learner drivers who complete a one hour structured driving lesson with a fully licensed driving instructor can record three hours driving experience in their learner driver log book. A maximum of 10 hours of lessons will be accepted and recorded as 30 hours driving experience in the learner driver log book. These structured lessons must be recorded in the Structured Lesson Record Keeper log book insert in order to be recognised under the new rules.
In addition, from 19 December 2009 learner drivers aged 25 years and over are exempt from completing the log book.
Visit GEARED.com.au to find out everything a young driver needs to know about getting and keeping their licence.
Supervising drivers must hold a current full Australian driver’s licence. As a supervising driver you will need to have a good understanding of the road rules, be a competent driver and be able to effectively communicate information and ideas clearly.
The blood alcohol content (BAC) for supervising drivers is the standard limit that applies to that licence class and vehicle type.
You are a role model
You will be a role model and mentor for your learner driver and, as such, you should be determined and genuine about helping them become a safe and skilled driver. You will also need to be patient and calm.
It is a good idea to reassess your own driving by:
- Reading the Road Users’ Handbook to familiarise yourself with current road rules.
- Ensuring you comply at all times with traffic lights, signs and road markings.
- Ensuring you leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front.
- Looking well ahead and checking 'blind spots' and vision blockouts.
- Driving at a suitable speed for conditions.
- Responding appropriately to hazards.
- Being patient and courteous with other drivers.
- Reading the learner page on the 'Getting a licence' section of this website to familiarise yourself with the learner requirements and special rules.
- Reading the Learner Driver Log Book to understand the content and learning goals.
Twelve tips for better learner supervision
When you're working with your learner driver:
- If either you or the learner driver is tired, upset or stressed, reschedule the practice session to another time.
- Try frequent, short practice sessions in the beginning.
- Use the Learner Driver Log Book task key points as a guide to practice sessions.
- Begin with the easiest tasks then, once they have been mastered, move to the more difficult tasks.
- Discuss then demonstrate new tasks before getting the learner to attempt them.
- Use 'commentary driving' - which involves the driver and passenger talking about what is happening inside and outside the vehicle.
- Start the learner practising on quiet streets, preferably in daylight, before moving onto busier roads and more challenging conditions.
- Allow the learner to proceed at his or her own pace.
- Don’t criticise mistakes. Calmly discuss what happened and allow the learner to try again.
- Be positive and offer praise when the learner successfully completes a task.
- Impress upon the learner the importance of developing a sensitivity to speed. It is important that they realise that the faster a vehicle travels, the more difficult it becomes to respond to potential hazards. They should also realise that the faster a vehicle is travelling when involved in a crash, the more devastating the outcome.
- Avoid using the radio, mobile phone or talking to other passengers while the learner is practising.
The Learner Driver Log Book
As a supervising driver, you will be required to mark off the learner driver’s progress against a range of key task points contained in the log book. The book contains instructions on how you should do this.
From 1 July 2007, the log book requires learner drivers to have at least 120 hours of supervised driving (which includes 20 hours of night driving) before attempting the Driving Test. Night driving starts from sunset of one day and ends at sunrise on the following day. If your learner licence is issued before 1 July 2007 see the Learner licence link on the right side of the page.
From 19 December 2009, there are changes to the Graduated Licensing Scheme for novice drivers. Learner drivers who complete a one hour structured driving lesson with a fully licensed driving instructor can record three hours driving experience in their Learner driver log book. A maximum of 10 hours of lessons will be accepted and recorded as 30 hours in the Learner driver log book. Lessons with an instructor are to be entered into the Structured Lesson Record Keeper. In addition learner drivers who are aged 25 or older will no longer be required to present a Learner driver log book prior to attempting the driving test. Lessons with a licensed driving instructor conducted prior to 19 December 2009 are recognised under these changes.