READERS DISCUSS: Young drivers have a lot to learn
STRICT changes to learner licence testing has Daily readers debating what new drivers should truly be taught before they get behind the wheel.
L-plate drivers will face tougher driving tests as the Palaszczuk Government takes action to curb the incidence of young drivers being killed on the state's roads.
Main Roads and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey said that under the new Q-SAFE practical driving test it would be even harder for young drivers to get a licence.
"In the past, many young drivers were assessed on their ability to perfect a reverse parallel park, among other things. This new testing regime will focus on the serious traffic hazards that young drivers face every time they get behind the wheel and less on parking manoeuvres," he said.
Learner drivers will also be tested on their ability to merge lanes at high speeds and travel at a safe distance.
We asked Daily readers what lessons learner drivers should know before they hit the road.
More than 200 people commented on the thread and debated the question.
Here is a snapshot of your conversation:
Romina Urlich: Well I don't think the problems are the new drivers are they always try to be careful I think the problem are the people that have their original licence and they sometimes annoy the new drivers.
Ellie Sharman: Everything from checking water and oil levels to changing a tyre. You aren't allowed to operate a forklift without checking that it's safe to do so. Cars should be the same. Also a defensive driving course.
Linda Watkinson: I think it's important that you have good instruction when your learning. If you learn from someone who is not very good driver, then your learning bad habits. How many new drivers know that it's illegal to travel in the right hand lane on a highway unless you're overtaking? How many new drivers know how to enter a freeway? Not many from my my experience. I also believe that once a person has got their licence, they should do a defensive driving course and learn to be patient on the road.
Kathryn Langford: I am a professional driver and I wonder is it really the new drivers that are a problem or drivers who let their skills slip?. Most younger drivers I see are using good practices. Sometimes their inexperience shows but at least they are up to date.
Lee Henderson: As an owner of a truck company I know many learner drivers have no idea how to react to trucks, many a very dangerous to themselves and others. They need to be educated on safe distances and understand that trucks pulling heavy weights cannot stop as quickly as a car can. It's only due to not enough education. I think it is a big priority to educate new drivers and for that matter a lot of older drivers.
Belinda Robinson: When you're supposed to give way, how to check your mirrors before merging, when to indicate, how to use a roundabout, not to tailgate, how to have respect and courtesy for other drivers, awareness of blind spots
Also to move out of the way immediately when an ambulance/emergency services vehicle is coming and not just whenever suits you 10 minutes later
Susan Blake: Be aware of other drivers, don't take risks assuming the other person knows what they are doing, if you can't see around a bus / truck don't go even if people behind are beeping their horns! Never rush to be dead on time. Slow down in the wet weather and remember you are getting a licence that could kill.
Steph Cherry: More experience in all weather conditions. No good learning in sunny weather to be faced with the new challenge of wet weather driving. It sounds like these changes are really well thought out and something that should be taught.