First results from the new driver licence test reveal a 15 per cent increase in the fail rate following the Queensland Government’s focus on high-risk manoeuvres and zero tolerance to speeding.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the new practical test is being piloted across seven sites in Queensland and has been underway for about six weeks.
“As part of our strong plan for a brighter future we are working to make our roads safer and the new test is part of that plan,” Mr Emerson said.
“Speeding and not safely completing high-risk manoeuvres, like merging at high speeds, were among the main reasons learner drivers failed the new test.
“We make no apologies for being tough on our approach to speeding in the new test, particularly given it contributes to more than one in five road deaths in Queensland.
“Our no tolerance stance is in stark contrast to the former Labor government’s approach that allowed a candidate to speed at least twice and still pass.
“It also made sense to emphasise manoeuvres like merging at higher speeds and turning across on-coming traffic given a high number of crashes involving drivers aged 17 to 24 occurred in these scenarios.”
Mr Emerson said the fail rate at the end of week five of the pilot was 44 per cent compared to 38 per cent fail rates at non-pilot sites over the same period.
“This early data demonstrates we are on the right track to ensure our younger drivers develop the skills for those more dangerous situations before they get their licence,” he said
Mr Emerson said this was the first time in 15 years major changes had been made to the Q-SAFE driver tests.
“Since the start of the pilot more than 1200 tests have been undertaken and so far no significant concerns have been raised from customers, the driver training industry or driving examiners,” he said.
This licence reform is part of the Queensland Government’s ongoing efforts to drive down the road toll through its $350 million, two-year Road Safety Action Plan.
The pilot is being carried out from 28 April to 25 July 2014 and an assessment will follow before the program is rolled out to other centres.