The Road Ahead : June July 2007
FEATURES 8 JUN/JLY 07 STORY CHRIS BISHOP PHOTOS JIM McEWAN The biggest shake-up of driver licensing in Queensland begins on July 1 with the introduction of a comprehensive graduated regime for young motorists and motorcyclists. Sweeping reforms, lobbied for and suppor ted by RACQ, should ensure the state's youngest drivers are more prepared to gain their provisional licences and better protected while they gain experience on P plates. Under the new rules, young Queenslanders will be able to get behind the wheel earlier than ever, applying for a learner's licence at 16. However, they will be required to stay on L plates for at least 12 months, with the time limit for a learner's permit increased from one to three years. Experience is the new byword for learners. They will now be required to complete 100 hours of super vised, logged and cer tified instruction, including at least 10 hours at night. The use of mobile phones by learners while driving will be outlawed, while super visors and passengers will not be able to distract learners by using any mobile with a loudspeaker. As an incentive to include professional instruction in the learning mix, up to 10 hours of lessons with a driving school will count for 30 hours in the logbook, although any paid instruction beyond that time will be counted as normal. When under-25s attempt to progress beyond their L plates, they will have to submit their logbook with its 100 hours of documented driving experience to examiners and then pass a practical driving test. Upon passing a practical driving test, provisional licence holders will be obliged to under take several new steps to gain an open licence. From July 1, provisional licence holders will be required to identify themselves with P plates, in two stages of provisional licensing over three years. In the P1 stage, drivers under the age of 25 will display a red P plate for at least 12 months and will be subject to several restrictions, designed to minimise driving risks until they gain fur ther experience behind the wheel. Due to the dangers of distraction and peer pressure for young motorists, P1 drivers will not be allowed to carr y any more than one passenger aged under 21 (except immediate family) in the car from 11pm-5am. Police are likely to be given powers to question passengers about their date of bir th, with the onus on the driver to carr y only one passenger under 21. In addition, anyone under 25 who obtains either provisional licence after July 1 will be banned from driving high-powered vehicles. Vehicle restrictions include cars with eight or more cylinders, turbocharged and supercharged petrol engines, a maximum power output of more than 200 kW, rotar y engines above 1146cc and modified engines which do not meet manufacturers' original specifications. Queensland Transpor t has flagged that all diesel vehicles and some small capacity turbocharged Teen revolution It's a different ball game now for young drivers seeking their licences. Professional tuition will be an impor tant par t of the new driving regime.
April May 2007
August September 2007