There are plenty of ways to learn something new but when it comes to driving, experience is the best teacher. Typically the journey to earning your drivers licence takes place over four years – the system was designed to give learners plenty of time to gain confidence on the road and develop safe driving habits. Four types of testing modules were also in place to ensure drivers were ready to be on the road. But despite these precautionary processes, provisional 1 (P1) and provisional 2 (P2) drivers accounted for 15% of fatalities in NSW last year.
The alarming numbers prompted a revision to the way drivers were taught and tested.
As of November 20th 2017, the Roads and Maritime Services will introduce pivotal changes to the way drivers in NSW are tested for a full, unrestricted licence.
Drivers on their learner licence will need to pass a Hazard Perception Test (HPT) before booking a driving test for a P1 licence.
Drivers are only required to take the HPT once – before the P1 driving test. Drivers who have held their P1 licence for more than 12 months can now simply apply for their P2 licence without the HPT.
Previously the Driver Qualification test was a prerequisite to a full, unrestricted licence. After November 20th, drivers who have completed the HPT test and have held a P2 licence for at least 24 months, can apply for a full licence without sitting the Driver Qualification test.
But, if a P2 licence holder has collected too many demerit points or has had their licence suspended, there is a possibility that drivers will have an extra six months added to their P2 licence.
Drivers applying for their P1 licence after November 20th will pass through the new Graduated Licensing Scheme – but drivers who are currently on their P1 or P2 licence will not be part of the new changes. Here’s a detailed breakdown:
Find out more information about the changes here.
Changes to the licensing scheme place an emphasis on a driver’s ability to identify and respond appropriately to hazards on the road.
The Hazard Perception Test is a touch-screen test that measures a driver’s ability to recognise and respond to hazards on the road. The test assesses a driver’s perception skills through 15 potential situations and real traffic circumstances that contribute to common crashes in NSW. In every situation, drivers are asked if they’d slow down, overtake or turn.
Taking the HPT test is a crucial stage of progressing to a full licence. Here are some ways you can ensure you’re prepared for the test:
Need a helping hand? A Hazard Perception Handbook is available online. Plus, get a taste of the real thing with five interactive modules online.
The changes make it clear that what matters the most is: safe driving. The change rewards drivers who can safely apply driving rules and avoid potentially dangerous situations. Leverage the experience of our seasoned drivers and ensure you’re well equipped for the HPT test or driving test with the help of our instructors.
See our Safer Drivers Course where you can easily get 20 bonus logbook hours.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to speak with our friendly staff.