What to expect from rigorous driving test changes
JOEL Uy has failed three driving tests, but he isn't afraid of failing again if it means he'll be a better driver.
Mr Uy has been driving for 10 years, but the 35-year-old Maroochydore resident is used to driving on the right-hand side of the road.
Road rules were not enforced strictly in the Philippines, where Mr Uy lived until last year, and there was a culture of ignoring them, he said.
He said he tried hard to learn Australian road rules but found it very difficult to remember everything.
"It's a built-in thing in my system," he said. "Even though I'm aware, my hands (do their) own thing."
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Mr Uy said one of the best things about the Sunshine Coast was its laid-back attitude, but when it came to road safety he agreed a zero-tolerance approach was needed.
"I like the way Australians do it," he said. "It lessens the accidents."
He welcomed the tougher new laws set to be introduced in Queensland today, even though they would make it harder for him to pass a test.
A trial of the new driving test last year found that learners had a 50-50 chance of failing in the new system.
"It will be a lot more challenging," Mr Uy said. "I'm all right with that because it's about safety."
Mr Uy took a driving lesson with Australian Driving Academy Sunshine Coast owner Leslie Chapman on Friday in preparation for his fourth test next month.
Ms Chapman said the State Government's harsher stance on speeding, a central part of the new test, was overdue and very welcome.
She said until now students taking driving tests were allowed to exceed the speed limit twice in each test by up to 4kmh before being failed. This sent the wrong message to drivers, she said.
Learning responsible driving techniques at an early age, when most Coast residents take their tests, was essential for establishing safe driving habits Ms Chapman agreed.
"I just think they're saying to students it's okay to go a little bit over the speed limit," she said. This leniency taught learner drivers it was okay to go over the speed limit, she said.
WHAT TO EXPECT
FROM June 29, learner drivers sitting the new Q-SAFE practical driving test can expect the following:
- A zero-tolerance approach to speeding
- Increasing significance placed on tailgating
- A greater emphasis on hazard perception
- New driving situations such as a high-speed merge or entering a high-speed area
- A greater emphasis on providing meaningful feedback to the candidate at the end of the test
Source: Queensland Government