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.