Learner driver Bryce Armishaw with instructor and mother Debra Stewart.
Learner driver Bryce Armishaw with instructor and mother Debra Stewart. Lee Constable

Instructors agree that tougher tests would be good

DRIVING instructors in Mackay agree that tougher testing of learner drivers is not a bad thing as the State Government trials a tougher driver licence test.

The new test has a focus on problems, such as high-risk overtaking, merging manoeuvres and speeding.

If applicants speed once in the test they automatically fail.

Wayne Bell, from Mackay Driving School, said learners needed more professional lessons because they were training to drive something for the next 60 years that had the potential to kill.

The former police officer tries to train students to drive safely and defensively, saying he "pulls no punches" after attending the scene of many deadly road crashes involving young people.

He said changes that saved lives and improved the safety and attitudes of young drivers were good.

Instructor Maria Borg, from Pioneer Driving School, said the students had to complete log books to show 100 hours of training.

Some did "doctor" their books but she could quickly tell as they drove.

She said there should be zero tolerance of speeding, with bigger fines.

Ms Borg has found that lane merging at speed and doing right turns with oncoming traffic could be difficult for a learner.

She said young drivers also had more distractions in the cars, such as mobile phones.

Learner driver Bryce Armishaw, 17, with instructor and mother Debra Stewart, has a mature approach to learning and his dad, a truck driver, has given good advice.

Bryce said it could be daunting driving in regional areas with wide loads, narrow roads and merging traffic.

Ms Stewart said teaching could be stressful and she had taken Bryce out into a variety of traffic, at night, in the wet, on rural roads and in heavy traffic.

Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the first results of the practical test being piloted at seven sites (not Mackay) showed a 15% increase in the fail rate.

Should there be stricter testing to obtain a drivers licence?

This poll ended on 10 June 2014.

Current Results

Yes

60%

No

40%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.


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