New driving test rules slammed
DRIVING school instructor Gail Lobley says a mixed message is being sent to young drivers about speeding with proposed changes to driving tests to be launched in August.
The State Government did a backflip on Tuesday and announced a “three-strikes-and-you-are-out” policy after metropolitan media reported proposed changes to driving tests allowing learner drivers to go over the limit by up to 5kmh five times before failing.
The new rules state learners can exceed the speed limit by up to 4kmh three times before failing and anything over is an automatic fail.
Mrs Lobley said it was still three too many and wanted to remind young learner drivers that speeding kills.
“How are we all going to teach our youth to not speed and die when this is OK in tests?” she asked.
“If I am doing a fake test and they go over by one kilometre I say that is two points and a fine.”
Among the changes, it was also reported learner drivers would be able to fail to indicate six times or stall the car six times before failing.
Mrs Lobley said Queensland’s road toll was at its lowest in years and she was proud to know she was contributing to improving drivers’ skills on the road.
“I think it is great and I am doing something right,” she said.
“(But) if they bring in that rule, I know these kids will speed.
“I can see kids saying ‘Woohoo the government is saying we can speed’ – that is all they are going to hear from this.”
Mrs Lobley said she would continue to preach her warning “driving is meant to be fun but you have got to be safe” to prevent death on roads.
“I know someone who has had a knock on the door (to be informed of a death on the road); I have had the knock on the door – these kids think they are invincible,” she warned.
Transport Minister Rachel Nolan said she changed the policy to allow learner drivers to exceed the speed limit up to 4kmh three times and still pass their exam, offering allowances for nervous drivers.
Ms Nolan said the Department of Transport and Main Roads would toughen measures penalising learner drivers speeding while undertaking a driving test.
“I want to send a clear, consistent message to the community. Speeding is a serious contributor to the road toll and learner drivers need to understand this,” Ms Nolan said.
Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg yesterday disagreed with the proposed changes and said there wasn’t a lot of common sense in them.
“I suppose there is always the argument there should be indiscretions allowed for nervous drivers... these are all in excess though,” Mr Springborg said.
He highlighted that these were not the skills young drivers should show when passing driving tests and said it sent out the wrong message.
“It’s not only the wrong message to young drivers – it’s to the whole community,” Mr Springborg said.
“It is a confused message for drivers in the community when there are a lot of messages about road safety and the government spends millions promoting (these messages).”