Learning to Drive? Some things you need to know.

Posted on 28 October 2011

There are currently 270 000 learner drivers registered in NSW accounting for 13% of drivers on our roads. However, they are over represented in crashes resulting in injuries with 26% being learner drivers.

Restrictions applying to learner drivers differ from state to state. A recent Brisbane Times article drew attention to current laws in Queensland for learner drivers, whereby when caught driving unsupervised, they lose one demerit point and incur a $160 fine. This has caused issues in Queensland for police as learner drivers have four points and are not deterred by consequences of driving unsupervised. This has led the Queensland State Government to tighten laws by increasing the demerits lost for driving unsupervised from one to four demerit points, closer in line with NSW driver laws.

Queensland transport authorities indicated that 1110 individuals caught by police per month were caught whilst driving unsupervised. Queensland Transport Minister Anastasia Palaszczuk highlighted the importance of learner drivers gaining supervised experience before gaining a provisional license.

However in NSW, where learner drivers are also provided with 4 points, there is already a system in place where, if caught driving unsupervised, the learner driver immediately has their license suspended. Further action may be taken, including possible court proceedings and if the individual is convicted, they may have their license disqualified.

Some additional requirements for NSW Learner drivers have been set out below including the relevant demerit points.

Requirement      

Consequence of non-compliance

Supervised by fully licenced driver

Suspension of licence

Must clearly display L plate outside of vehicle

2 demerit points and $206 fine

Passenger restrictions:  If under 25 must not drive between 11.00pm and 5.00am with more than one passenger under 25

3 demerit points

Ban on all mobile phone use

3 demerit points, 4 demerit points if offence occurs in school zone and $265.00 or $353.00 fine respectively.

Must not tow another vehicle

2 demerits and $206.00 fine

Learner, Provisional and Full License holders need to be aware of just what restrictions apply to their license type.

For a comprehensive list of offenses, restrictions, fines and points see this link.

If you would like further advice on a traffic matter contact our office at (02) 9890 4755  or make an enquiry.

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