The Phase one of the new QLD Driver Licence Laws comes into affect mid this year and so far there has been a great deal of confusion about the new laws. Previously this topic generated over 200 comments when it was posted here. So it was time to give it a new and fresh face with updated data and some actual facts from QLD transport.
The first phase will take effect from 1 July 2007 and includes:
New learner licence
Changes for Queensland learner licence holders aged under 25 years of age include:
Changes for Queensland learner licence holders aged 25 years and over include:
Motorbike learner licence applicants (all ages):
Before we move onto QLD transports justifications for the new laws, lets have a think about some of the above laws for a second. Firstly the 12 month learners period is not exactly a bad idea, but the 100 hours of driving training is a little steep. If you do not have a car to practice on, having 100 hours of recorded and logged driving lessons will mean that you will need 100 hours of driving. QLD transport says that it is willing to count the first 10 hours of driving lessons with a driving instruction as 30 hours, so for every 1 hour you are accredited 3 hrs. But that is only for the first 10 hours. The other 70 hours you will need to either do in your own car or pay for with a driving instructor. So if you don’t have you own car, it will cost you 80 hours of lessons, or at a cost of $40/hr = $3,200. QLD transport says that exceptions maybe given to those who can show why they should be except from this, whilst they come up with a support plan.
What will this lead to? Personally I think for those who have access to a parent or guardians car it will lead to a lot of “fake” recorded hours, and for those who don’t it will be a huge discouragement to gain their license. QLD transport says that any falsified log book records will be handed back with a penalty, but what I want to know, is how can they know what is and what is not falsified!? They simply can’t. So go ahead, ask your friends for some ‘lessons‘.
So lets move onto the mobile phones problem, a ban on mobile phones has been around for some time, but a ban on hands free is set to be introduced. Banning hands free bluetooth kits shows one very simply thing. QLD transport has no idea about technology.
QLD police are going to have a tough time trying to spot little bluetooth headsets in the left ear of P plater drivers. Furthermore, what about inbuilt bluetooth car kits? Not good. In otherwords you better not even talk when you are in the car since the police will give you a ticket as you might have been on your phone. In fact, you better not even sing along to your favourite song since that might get you booked.
What is even more ridiculous is the ban on speaker phones by passengers in a P plater car! I dont understand how there is a difference between talking to your passenger in a car, or talking to someone else over speaker phone which your passenger
is holding? After all, talking is talking isnt it? Would QLD government prefer all P platers to simply just not talk at all when they are driving? Perhaps new rules will require all P platers to have to cover their mouths as well? Absolutely ridiculous.
So now the log book,
What exactly do you have todo in the log book?
How will the logbook be used?
Can you get out of using a logbook, e.g. if you don’t have access to a car in the family to practice with?
Where do you get an approved logbook from and how much will it cost?
What happens if I lose my logbook?
What happens if the information in the logbook is falsified by either the learner driver or the supervisor?
What happens if I can’t access a supervisor and or a vehicle?
What if I use a driver trainer?
What happens if I’m a learner driver aged over 25 years of age?
What will happen to learner drivers who obtained their licence before 1 July 2007?
Am I still required to display L plates?
Yes. All learner licence holders must currently display an L plate on the front and rear of the vehicle
or cop a $120 fine. The L plate should measure at least 146mm by 146mm and show a black upper case letter ‘L’ clearly marked on a yellow background. There is no requirement for the sign to be reflective.
What are the new restrictions to mobile phone use?
To minimise distraction for young drivers under 25 years of age, learner licence holders can not use a mobile phone at any time while driving, including the use of hands free kits and blue tooth accessories.
Why are these changes being introduced?
Young drivers are at greater risk of distraction than more experienced drivers. Banning mobile phone use for learner drivers removes the potential for distraction.
Can supervisors or passengers use a mobile phone?
Supervisors and passengers of learner drivers under 25 years of age are prohibited from using a phone that is on loudspeaker but can use a hand held or hands free mobile phone where only a one-way conversation can occur and not distract the driver.
What happens if the young driver, passenger, or supervisor breaches the mobile phone restriction?
A penalty will apply. Details will be determined closer to the implementation date.
Okay so not that you’ve read all the BS from QLD transport, lets make some sense of it all.
I still have to start with my favourite, the Mobile phone load speaker and bluetooth ban. So now that you can’t use your phone and your friend next to you can’t put it on loud speaker so that you can hear it, your friend becomes the loud speaker. He is now the middle man who will talk for you, you tell him what you want to say and he will say it and then give you the response that he recieved, sounds stupid? It is.
My biggest recommendation is that all of you who are eligable to get your learners before July 2007, todo so NOW. don’t put it of any longer, get your learners now! And for those of you still on your learners get your license before July, just go and do it, It will save you a lot of headache come July!
I am keen to see what these new programs that are set to support young drivers that cant afford to pay $3,200 simply to get the 100 hour of log book training are going to be! I am hoping that QLD transport will provide cars for drivers to borrow free of cost, or perhaps create a defensive driving course scheme whereby young drivers can choose to undergo a few defensive driving courses which will count as sufficient experience to get their license.
The thing that annoys me the most is the exception for drivers over 25 to not have to undergo the 100 hour log booking. I can see a lot of 20+ adults who currently dont hold license will see this as an easy way to simply just wait till they are 25 than go for their license. These laws are discrimination against young drivers. These rules need to apply to all or none.
All in all these laws are set to make life hell for young drivers and I wish all of you the best of luck. But do not worry, there are people like us who are writing and complaining and doing as much as we can to let the government know these new laws will not save any lives. For the parents of kids reading this thinking these laws are a great idea, perhaps you should go and retake your driving test after these new laws come into affect, and don;t be surprised when you fail.