Update 5pm 13/07/2010 – QLD Transport Minister has gone into damage control and said the limit of speeding will be reduced to 3.

In a move that is sure to cause debate, Queensland Transport has announced a wide variety of changes to the learner driver test that come into effect next week. The changes will see reduced margin for error but will also allow examinees to speed more.

The new rules allow learner drivers undergoing their driving test to exceed the speed limit by 5 km/h five times before it results in a fail. This is in contrast to the previous rules which allowed for a 9 percent speed tolerance but only on three occasions.

Additional tougher restrictions include an instant fail if:

  • Stalling – six times
  • Steering with only one hand – six times
  • Unable to start engine – five times

According to some involved in making the new rules, the changes make for a more realistic level of error. However they are expected to lead to more failures due to heavier policing of repetitive non-critical errors.

The irony of the new rules is that if every K over is a killer, why is 5km/h over allowed five times during the test? Surely learner drivers won’t take the speed limits seriously if they are not to be adhered to at all times?

What the new rules really say is that everyone speeds by a small margin once in a while. Going 65 km/h in a 60 zone doesn’t mean your vehicle will self-combust and you have 100 percent more chance of dying (as some government advertising would have you believe).

Unfortunately the new rules still don’t take into account some basic but essential driving skills. There is no emergency braking procedure, there is no wet weather driving and there certainly isn’t any traction loss to recovery maneuvers.

Another hit and miss by Queensland Transport.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1435885244 Yani Hendriawan

    so if you fail your p’s you’re a pretty bad driver. i wouldn’t mind someone teaching me how to recover from oversteer

    • MJ

      i agree, passing a driving test is NOT difficult (at least in WA). I have a friend that went for his test 6 times! needless to say he is a useless driver (I went for one 10 minute drive with him and he almost got in 2 accidents, i was just glad his parents made sure to buy him a 5 star ANCAP car)

  • Dear

    They shouldn’t be speeding at all o.O

    I just got my P’s and speeding is an immediate fail in NSW.

    + I didn’t stall once in a manual… so they should not be allowed six times to stall – more like one!

    Oh and one last thing:

    Make the driving test compulsory in a MANUAL transmission >:)

    • Nath746

      Pity then if the learner driver only has one leg… and in victoria, if you complete the test in an automatic car then your only allowed to drive an automatic car during the probationary period.

      • Kieran

        In QLD, if you take your test in an auto, you cannot drive a manual, EVER, until you re-take the test in one. The following is directly from the QLD Transport website, licensing section.

        “What if my open licence is only for an automatic vehicle?

        An open licence for an automatic vehicle limits you to driving that type of vehicle.

        You can learn to drive a vehicle with a manual transmission, but you must be accompanied by a driver who holds a current open licence for that class vehicle and has held that licence for at least one year. You must comply with the no alcohol limit (0.00) and also ensure L-plates are clearly displayed.

        If you are learning to drive in a manual car, your supervising driver must hold an open licence for a manual vehicle and have held that class of licence for at least one year.”

    • Radbloke

      So what does my best mate do, who is also the bass player for my band, because he is in a wheelchair? No more driving for him? Should he bring his full bass rig on public transport to every gig? Ever tried getting a dude in a ‘chair onto a tram? Just because you can drive a manual doesn’t make you a hero. Learn to drive before you mouth off.

      • Dear

        There would obviously be acceptions der..

        • Jimmy

          Acceptions? Looks like someones failed more than just a driving test.

  • TheMenz

    If anyone read my slight verbose note to the NSW roads minister in response to governments reintroduction of Mobile speed camera’s then you will know that my point of view is that the RTA has a rather simplistic approach to road safety. It would appear if true that there QLD counterparts have an equally simplistic approach to the problem also.

    If the education and skills required to drive a car aren’t taken seriously by governments then how apart from the constant invasion of our wallets can the government expect people to treat any road safety initiative seriously.

    Hell if breaking the limit by up to five Km/h is okay during the test then I wonder if the same generous approach might be shown to speeding drivers caught by cameras….

  • Bezza

    I’m in QLD and when I got my license (at 26) I was berated because someone almost ran into me when they failed to stop on a roundabout and I braked a bit too sharply for someone behind me. Neither my bad or an offense on my part.

    Now it seems like you can get a license whilst showing no real ability to handle a vehicle at all. Geez if it takes 4 attempts to start a (working) engine then I don’t want you anywhere near me anywhere, let alone on a road.


  • go away

    if you cant start the motor after 5 tries…… are they serious?

  • Paul

    Good call Caradvice.

    “no emergency braking procedure, no wet weather driving and there certainly isn’t any traction loss to recovery maneuvers”

    These should be a BARE MINIMUM for ALL driver training.

    This TOTAL OBSESSION law makers have with speed limits is simply MORONIC!

  • Ford KIng

    I think manual transmission test should be compulsory for everyone who is fit to perform the task. The driver gains a better knowledge and can also driver each car on the road. I think stalling more then 1 time should be a fail like come on it is 30 min test not 4 hours and if you carnt drive 30 minutes with out stalling you should not be on the road your a hazzrd!

  • George

    We need to boycott our government.

  • Matthew

    I think 5km five times is ok As cars are so much faster (5km is a fart in an ocean) and brake so much better and the speed limit hasn’t been increase to higher to accomodate modern cars (as safer more economic). The only car crashes these days are idiots doing stupid thing 10 percent rule should apply .Victoria sucks with it no tolerence to speeding (police state revenue raising)

    • nickdl

      Well you should be able to control the speed of the car you’re driving. It’s not like you’re going to do the test in a Ferrari.

  • biker

    People, look at it from the state’s point of view:
    “We need to get as many unskilled people on the road as fast as possible so we can make some money from the poor idiots and create more jobs to cover the income we generated.”

  • nickdl

    This law really shows how pathetic state governments in Australia are. They have now proven to us that they don’t care about saving lives, just raising revenue.

    To allow a driver to travel up to 5km/h over the limit five times is just plain stupid. It would be okay in a country like Germany where the laws regarding speeding are less strict but this is Australia. Why should drivers be allowed to speed while under more scrutiny than ever, and then have penalties on doing such a thing while not doing a drivers test.

    We all know that ‘speeding kills’ so why allow it in our newest, most inexperienced drivers? If they cannot keep a car at a constant speed or take notice of a sign stating a change in the speed limit, they shouldn’t be driving. Theoretically, a driver could be booked for speeding five times in their test and pass. They could pass on the day and lose their license a week later.

    I can understand what an inconvenience it is for people to have to re-sit their driving test, in both time and money. However this policy is letting far too many drivers who simply aren’t good enough get their P’s. As if there aren’t enough bad drivers already (especially in Qld!).

    If the government really wants to get serious about lowering the road toll they should start by getting drivers on the road who are good enough. This means a defensive driving course while on L’s and more examination on car control while going for P’s. The answer is not unmarked speed cameras put at the bottom of hills (where my father was recently picked up for speeding.)

    • nickdl

      He may have changed it back to three times speeding, but that’s still at least two too many IMO. Nobody’s perfect but you’ve got to try if you want a driver’s license.

    • George

      Oh the government don’t care about the statistic, they just want money.

  • tekkyy

    “Steering with only one hand – six times”

    good, its about time

  • Who?

    When I went for my driving test, the examiner couldn’t see my speedo. It was in a R50 MINI. :)

    • ElecEng

      Remember that the examiner probably do 3-5 driving test per day and probably go to the same roads. If you do that long enough, you’ll be able to tell if someone is speeding without looking at the speedo.

  • Reckless1

    So if you are a hero (as suggested above) and take your test in a manual, you will surely fail.

    Every time you change gear, you are steering with one hand – 6 gear changes, FAIL.

    Governments are such good thinkers, not – sadly, they come up with really stupid rules, just as stupid as the public who insist driving manual is better for some magik reason.

    • Jimmy

      Haha. What an oversight.

  • Eric

    the government encourages speeding in nsw to raise revenue. how else is this brain dead government gooing to get out of the deficit.

  • T

    Australian Design Rules say, that a vehicles speedometer only has to be within TEN PERCENT CORRECT to pass. So we used to be given a TEN PERCENT leeway on the speed limits.

    are they recalibrating ALL the speedos on every car in qld now to suit these new rules??

    didnt think so

  • vrx26

    They are just priming these young drivers as future cash cows. All those in government should make the standards the same for all States.

  • Ash

    I am 28 and going for my test in 2 days, iam shocked by the new rules now I know why there are so many bad drivers that are P Platers, this is why australia needs to follow places like europe