Road to Solo Driving

LEARNING TO DRIVE • DRIVING TO LEARN

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The Road to Solo Driving handbook is designed to help you understand the road rules, responsibilities and prepare you for the challenges of driving. You will need to read and understand the Road to Solo Driving thoroughly before sitting for your learner permit test. When you receive your learner permit you will be given the Learner Kit containing the two booklets Guide for Learners with the Learner Log Book, and the Guide for Supervising Drivers. The Guide for Learners will help you make the most of your practice sessions, get the essential driving experience you need, and keep track of your progress as you work towards your Ps. It includes the Learner Log Book you must use to show you have had enough driving practice to get a licence. It will help you structure your minimum 120 hours of driving if you are under 21 years of age. Give the Guide for Supervising Drivers booklet to your supervising driver.

Published by VicRoads 60 Denmark Street, Kew, Victoria 3101 ©Roads Corporation, Victoria, Australia 2000 First published 2000 Crown© Copyright 2000 Reprinted with amendments June 2008. National Library of Australia cataloguing-in-publication data: Roads Corporation. Road to Solo Driving: Learning to drive – driving to learn Includes index. ISBN 0 7311 9000 9 1. Automobile driver education – Victoria – Handbooks, manuals, etc. 2. Traffic regulations – Victoria – Handbooks, manuals, etc. 3. Traffic safety – Victoria – Handbooks, manuals, etc. I. Roads Corporation (Vic) 343.9450946 Several organisations have contributed to the preparation of this handbook, and their help is gratefully acknowledged.

This work is the copyright of VicRoads. Apart from uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission from VicRoads.

Road laws and legal requirements
Road laws change from time to time. Tests may change accordingly. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the most recent edition of this handbook and any update sheets. If you are in doubt, check with any of the VicRoads Customer Service Centres listed on the inside back cover. This handbook sets out various legal requirements for drivers. These are intended as a guide only. They do not purport to set out in full all of the requirements of the law. For a complete knowledge of the road law, you should consult the appropriate Acts and Regulations. Remember that ignorance of what the law says on a particular subject will not be regarded as an excuse by the Courts. Almost everything in this handbook applies to car drivers. Motorcycle riders should refer to the Victorian Rider handbook for further information. Much of the information also applies to pedal cyclists. The word ‘driver’ is generally used to cover the different road users and to simplify the language. It does not mean that one group is more important than the other.

Road to Solo Driving
LEARNING TO DRIVE DRIVING TO LEARN

List of contents 2 • • • • Why read this handbook How to use this handbook Ten steps to getting your licence The Graduated Licensing System 5 6 7 22 Learning to drive 33 35 35 36 39 41 44 46 • How do you learn to drive? • Some facts about new solo drivers • Practice is the best way • Your supervising driver is there to help • Put variety into your driving practice • Traps along the road to solo driving • Checking your progress 1 The challenges of driving 27 27 28 29 3 Managing risk 51 54 54 55 55 57 57 58 59 60 • Facing the real challenges of driving • Some facts about driving • How complicated is driving? • Alcohol and drugs • Mobile phones • Speed • Fatigue • Seat belts • Vehicle maintenance • Managing driving risk • Your crash risk as a solo driver • Reducing your risk of a crash .

4 Rules and responsibilities 65 68 72 74 76 80 86 93 95 106 114 115 116 116 117 118 123 127 129 • Alcohol • Drugs. medicine and driving • The law about seat belts • Speed limits • Road signs • Road markings • Traffic controls at intersections • Give Way rules • Turning • Freeways • Driving safely in tunnels • Sharing the road safely – Co-operative driving – Keeping your cool when driving – Sharing the road with other motorists – Sharing the road with pedestrians – Sharing the road with cyclists and motorcyclists – Sharing the road with trams – Sharing the road with buses – Sharing the road with police and emergency vehicles – Sharing the road with trucks and other heavy vehicles – Sharing the road with animals – Railway level crossings • Parking • Penalties • Legal responsibilities • Crash responsibilities • First aid after a crash • Test yourself questions 132 132 133 135 136 138 146 149 151 152 158 • Resources to help you • Index 161 164 .

including at least 10 hours of driving at night. This forms the Learner Kit – a complete package for learner drivers. your supervisor and your driving instructor. As a result when learners under 21 years of age when they take their probationary licence test they are required to produce a Learner Log book to show they have completed a minimum of 120 hours of supervised driving practice. You will need to study this handbook before sitting the learner permit and probationary licence tests. and you will be better prepared for safe solo driving in the future. Road to Solo Driving is one of the important initiatives which will help achieve this goal. Road safety research has found that a major reason for new drivers being over involved in crashes is that they have not had a sufficient range of supervised driving experiences to be able to anticipate driving situations safely. you will be given the Guide for Learners with the Learner Log Book and the Guide for Supervising Drivers. As new drivers are three times more likely to be involved in casualty crashes than more experienced drivers. The Victorian Government is committed to improving road safety. It will help support the partnership between you. 4 . Use the handbook as you learn to drive. Once you have passed the learner test.Road to Solo Driving is an innovative handbook for new drivers. this handbook will help you to become a safe driver and not a road toll statistic. Follow the advice in the Learner Kit.

As you read Road to Solo Driving. driver licences. but many people are there to help you along the way. but in the end it’s up to you! 5 . or converting an interstate or overseas licence to a Victorian licence. things will become clearer. keeping a Learner Log Book. The aim of this handbook is to help you: • prepare for the challenges of driving • find out how you learn to drive • manage and reduce your risks as a driver • understand the rules and responsibilities of driving. However. learner permits. You will need their help because the best way to learn to drive is with lots of practice. P plates. a probationary licence.Why read this handbook? Welcome to Road to Solo Driving! As you will find out. demerit points. Every new driver faces the same challenges and has to meet them in the same way by practising driving frequently and making sure the practice has more variety. We show you the way. weeks or months – to learn to drive safely. reading a handbook won’t make you a better driver. the Graduated Licensing System. obligations. This handbook is for all intending drivers and will assist you if you are going for a learner permit. It’s a long road and there are no shortcuts. road rules. you need years of experience – not a few days. tests. You are the one in charge of your driving. Age requirements. Blood Alcohol Concentration: as a first-time driver. the ‘system’ can be a bit confusing. The most important thing is how you choose to use the information in it.

6 .How to use this handbook This handbook is divided into four sections. Definition box. HOT TIP Hot tip. PART 3 looks at the risks of driving and strategies for new solo drivers to manage these risks. When there is a statement of road law. The text in a yellow box is an important fact you should note. A number of devices have been used to make it easier for you to read and use this handbook. Bold words highlighted in DARK GREEN. The preliminary pages detail the ten steps to getting your licence and becoming a driver. Road law. PART 2 covers the process of learning to drive and the importance of supervised driving practice. Each is colour coded with a vertical band on the outside edge of each page. are followed by a box containing the definition. PART 1 looks at the challenges facing new solo drivers. Bold words highlighted in dark green are followed by a box containing the definition. Next to this icon the text appears highlighted in red to give a suggestion to help you along the way. PART 4 details road rules and responsibilities. These include: Fact file. the word ‘must’ appears in bold type.

Ten steps to getting your licence 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Get your copy of Road to Solo Driving Book your learner permit test Pass your learner permit test Pay for and receive your learner permit Start learning to drive and driving to learn Book your probationary licence test Pass your probationary licence test Pay for and receive your probationary licence Continue learning to drive and driving to learn 10 Receive your full driver licence and keep learning! 7 .

You will be asked for your personal details such as your full name.Ten steps to getting your licence STEP 1 STEP 2 Get your copy of Road to Solo Driving Make sure you have the latest edition of this handbook and take some time to read it thoroughly. Once you are familiar with the information in the handbook and know the road rules. 8 . Language options When you go for your learner permit test or your probationary licence test. To book by phone (Please have your credit card ready) You will need to phone: • 13 1171 Victorian calls • +61 3 9854 2666 Overseas calls • 1300 652 321 if you have impaired hearing or speech. You will also be asked when and where you would like to be tested. you can choose to do the road law questions and the Hazard Perception Test on the computer in any of the 20 languages available (for a full list. You can book your learner permit test by phone or in person. date of birth. you are ready to be tested for your learner permit. address and phone number. see page 21). Book your learner permit test You must have turned 16 before you can be tested. and use a Telephone Typewriter (TTY). Booking and test fees apply and must be paid at the time of booking.

You will be given an appointment number which you should write down so you can tell it to the VicRoads officer who tests you. an additional appointment fee will apply. 9 . If you transfer your appointment. To book in person Go to any of the VicRoads Customer Service Centres listed on the inside back cover of this handbook. Note: If you cannot keep your appointment. Otherwise fees will not be refunded unless you produce a medical certificate or other supporting evidence. you must give VicRoads 24 hours notice to cancel your test.

Ten steps to getting your licence STEP 3 How will you be tested? • You will read an eyesight chart to test your vision.vic. Pass your learner permit test When you go to be tested. A sample computer test is available on the VicRoads website at www. as set out on page 11 • payment for your 10 year learner permit if you pass the test. you will need to bring a medical report from your doctor stating that you are medically fit to drive. • You will do a computerised. multiple-choice test based on this handbook to test your knowledge of road law and road safety. If you are unsure or would like advice. Once you hold a learner permit.au You can practise the full version of the learner permit test online to help you familiarise yourself with the structure and layout of the test.gov. If you have poor vision you are required to bring an eyesight certificate from an optometrist or opthalmologist (eye doctor). bring: • your appointment number • evidence of identity and age. If you have a disability or illness that may affect your driving. contact VicRoads for further information.vicroads. The learner permit practice test can also be printed. 10 . you must tell VicRoads if you develop any medical condition that might affect your driving.

If documentary evidence cannot be provided. a referee statement signed by a Victorian driver licence holder who has known you for at least one year may be accepted. birth certificate.vic. Documents needed for evidence of identity The list of acceptable documents is available from any VicRoads Customer Service Centre or from the VicRoads website: www. a passport (not expired by more than two years) or an Australian naturalisation or citizenship document. If there is a difference in names between the primary and secondary evidence documents you will need to provide additional documents such as a marriage certificate issued by the Registrar of Births. and 2 A ‘secondary evidence’ document to confirm the current use of your name in the community.gov. This includes gas. Deaths and Marriages in Australia or a Change of Name Registration. certified or otherwise. The statement must include the name and address of both the referee and the applicant. student identity and credit or account cards with banks. Only original documents are acceptable – photocopies of documents. you will need to present a letter from your employer. witnessing your signature. and 3 Evidence of Victorian residence if this has not been shown on either the primary or secondary evidence documents provided.au You must provide: 1 A ‘primary evidence’ document such as an Australian photo driver licence/learner permit. telephone and electricity bills up to one year old.vicroads. 11 . building societies and credit unions. are unacceptable. or Medicare. If your signature does not appear on any of the documents provided.Evidence of Identity Before you sit for your learner permit or your probationary licence you must prove who you are and that you live in Victoria by taking certain documents to the VicRoads Customer Service Centre. One document must contain your signature. school principal or any person authorised to witness a statutory declaration.

which is valid for 10 years • have your photo taken for your learner permit • be given a Learner Kit containing the Guide for Learners with the Learner Log Book. it is important you get as much varied and supervised practice as possible.Ten steps to getting your licence STEP 4 Pay for and receive your learner permit Once you have passed the test. The Declaration of Completion in the Learner Log Book must also be signed by both the applicant and the supervising driver. If you are under 21 years of age you must complete a minimum of 120 hours supervised driving experience including 10 hours of driving at night. You will then be given your learner permit. with all necessary details completed. including driving instructors. STEP 5 Start learning to drive and driving to learn When you have your learner permit. and encourage your supervising driver(s) to read the Guide for Supervising Drivers 12 . Those aged 21 years or over are encouraged to use the Learner Log Book. To help you do this you should: • keep reading this handbook • read the Guide for Learners. and the Guide for Supervising Drivers. including licence details and signatures of supervising drivers. You must bring the completed Learner Log Book with you when you go for your probationary licence. If you are under 21 years of age when you apply for your probationary licence you must keep the Learner Log Book and get a minimum of 120 hours of supervised driving experience including at least 10 hours at night. you will: • pay for your learner permit. The Guide for Supervising Drivers provides important information and tips for supervising drivers. This will be checked before you take the practical drive test to make sure entries are complete and correct. but do not need to present it when they go for their probationary licence. The List of Supervising Drivers must also be completed by all supervising drivers.

STEP 6 Book your probationary licence test To get your probationary licence. hands free or hand held. (See Drive Test. • drive a car ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION (BAC) BLOOD only (not a bus or a truck). 13 . page 16 . in Australia or overseas • pass a computerised Hazard Perception Test before a driving test can be conducted. is a measure of the amount of alcohol you have in your blood.• record and monitor your driving practice by recording the details in the Learner Log Book. you must: • have turned 18 years old • have held a learner permit for a continuous period of at least: ❏ ❏ ❏ 12 months if you are aged under 21 years when you apply for probationary licence 6 months if you are over 21 years of age but under 25 years 3 months if you are aged 25 years or over.17). • not be disqualified from driving in Victoria. or a trailer • drive a car only (not a bus or truck). or do messaging of any kind • not tow a caravan. If you are the holder of a motorcycle licence or permit and have held this for 12 or more months then these periods may be reduced. you must: • have an accompanying driver with you who has a full (non-probationary) car licence • carry your learner permit whilst driving • display L plates on the front and rear of your vehicle • have a zero Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) (see pages 68 – 71 for more information) • not use a mobile phone. When you are learning to drive.

Ten steps to getting your licence

• If you got your learner permit on or after 1 July 2007 and you are under 21 years of age when you apply for a probationary licence you must produce evidence of having completed 120 hours of supervised driving (including at least 10 hours at night) by presenting the Learner Log Book. All necessary details must be completed and each entry signed. The Declaration of Completion must be signed by both the applicant and a supervising driver and the List of Supervising Drivers must be completed and signed by all supervising drivers. Incomplete or incorrect Learner Log Books will not be accepted. You will not be able to take your test and all fees will be forfeited. In the event that entries in the Learner Log Book are found to be incomplete or incorrect, there are SIGNIFICANT CONSEQUENCES. The learner will lose their booking and test fees, and be prevented from taking the probationary licence test for at least six weeks. You may be liable to HEAVY PENALTIES under the Road Safety Act 1986.

CONTINUOUS PERIOD means that the permit must not have been broken by a suspension or a break in continuity such as allowing the permit to expire before regaining a new permit. It also refers to the period immediately before you apply for your licence.

You can book your test: • by phone (see pages 8-9) • in person (go to any of the VicRoads Customer Services Centres listed on the inside back cover of this handbook). Note: if you cannot keep an appointment you will need to give VicRoads 24 hours notice to cancel your test, otherwise fees will not be refunded unless you produce a medical certificate or other supporting evidence. If you transfer your appointment, an additional appointment fee will apply. STEP 7

Pass your probationary licence test
You can be tested at any of the VicRoads Customer Service Centres listed on the inside back cover of this handbook.

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For your test, you or your driving supervisor or instructor have to provide a registered, roadworthy car that is fitted with L plates. You must bring: • your appointment number • your current learner permit • your completed Learner Log Book which includes the completed Declaration of Completion and List of Supervising Drivers (if you are under 21 years of age, when you apply for a probationary licence) • payment for your probationary licence if you pass the test. If you have a medical condition that may affect your driving and you have not previously told VicRoads, you must provide a medical certificate which states your fitness to drive. Once you hold a probationary licence, you must tell VicRoads if you develop any medical condition that might affect your driving.

• You will do a computerised Hazard Perception Test to see how safely you respond to traffic situations. • You will do a practical driving test to assess your driving skills (see Drive Test, page 16-17). • If you got your learner permit on or after 1 July 2007 and you are under 21 years of age when you apply for a probationary licence you must provide evidence of completing 120 hours (including 10 hours at night) of supervised driving in the correctly completed Learner Log Book. The Declaration of Completion must be signed by both learner and supervising driver, and the List of Supervising Drivers signed by all drivers that supervised the learner. For your test you must provide a registered and roadworthy car. Note: If you cannot prove that you have completed 120 hours of driving practice including 10 hours of night driving you will not be permitted to sit the test. Your appointment and test fees will be forfeited and you will also have to wait at least six weeks before you can take the licence test.

The Hazard Perception Test
The Hazard Perception Test is designed to see how safely you respond to traffic situations. This test can be undertaken at the age of 17 years

How will you be tested?
• You will read an eyesight chart to test your vision.

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Ten steps to getting your licence

and 11 months. This test must be passed before the drive test can be conducted. It will indicate how well you are able to obser ve the whole road environment and anticipate potential hazards (see Practice is the best way, page 36).
A POTENTIAL HAZARD can be anything in the road environment that could present a danger or a risk while driving.

Drive Test
The on-road driving test is designed to identify drivers with the safe driving skills that develop with driving experience. It will be difficult to pass the test if you have not had enough supervised driving experience. You need to be fully prepared before you come to sit for your test. You will drive for about 30 minutes during the test and the test route will include a range of driving conditions and tasks. You will have to show that you can: • control the vehicle correctly • obey the road rules • co-operate with other road users • demonstrate acceptable safe driving skills. During your test, your ability to drive safely in less demanding situations will first be assessed. This part of the test is to make sure that you have basic car control and traffic skills. If you pass this part of the test, you will then be assessed in a broad range of realistic traffic situations. If you do something that is unsafe in the test, the test will be stopped and you will fail.

For each item in the Hazard Perception Test, you will see a video of a traffic situation and be given a driving task such as slowing down or making a turn. You have to respond safely to each traffic situation. For some items, there is a time when it is safe to perform the driving task; for these items you should click a mouse button during the safe time. For other items, there is no time when it is safe to perform the driving task; for them, you do not have to click a mouse button.

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Your P plates must also be displayed. Otherwise. STEP 9 If you are tested in a vehicle that is fitted with automatic transmission you will be restricted to driving only vehicles that are fitted with automatic transmission during your probationary period. You will then be given your probationary licence.au If you are tested in a car that has dual controls and your instructor holds a current Driving Instructor Authority Number. It will be up to you to improve your driving. If you hold a probationary licence and you are undergoing instruction or testing in a manual vehicle. STEP 8 Pay for and receive your probationary licence Once you have passed the test. and to drive safely and responsibly. The only way this restriction can be removed earlier is by passing another drive test in a manual car. you will: • pay for your probationary licence • have your photo taken for your licence.vicroads. only the VicRoads testing officer will be with you. you can have your driving instructor with you. Other passengers are not usually permitted. your real learning will begin! Having your probationary licence will mean you have the minimum skills required for driving solo.gov. you must display a yellow plate measuring approximately 150mm by 150mm inscribed in Continue learning to drive and driving to learn Now that you are able to drive without a supervising driver or instructor. it has additional pedal(s) on the passenger side for use by the accompanying driver. If a car has DUAL CONTROLS.vic.Further information about the test will be available at www. 17 . black letters with the words ‘Driver under instruction’.

In addition to obeying the rules that apply to all drivers. when you are driving on a P1 probationary licence. before you can be given your full driver licence. page 68) • not drive a high powered vehicle (unless you are driving the vehicle during working hours at the request of your employer or have been granted a written exemption by VicRoads) • not use a mobile phone. hands free or hand held. you must: • display RED P plates on the front and rear of your vehicle (plates measuring approximately 150mm square bearing a white letter P on a red background) • carry your probationary licence with you at all times • have a zero Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) (see Alcohol. you must: • display GREEN P plates on the front and rear of your vehicle (plates measuring approximately 150mm square bearing a white letter P on a green background) • carry your probationary licence with you at all times 18 . when you are driving on a P2 probationary licence. or do messaging of any kind • not tow a caravan or a trailer (unless for work or if under instruction) • not carry more than one passenger aged between 16 and 21 years of age • drive only a vehicle fitted with automatic transmission if you were tested in a vehicle fitted with automatic transmission. In addition to obeying the rules that apply to all drivers. From 1 July 2008 there will be P1 and P2 probationary licences. A full licence will not be given to you until your probationary period is over.Ten steps to getting your licence For those aged under 21 years when applying for a probationar y licence: You must hold your probationary licence for a minimum of 4 years. The P1 licence period lasts for a minimum of 1 year and if you have a good driving record you will progress to the P2 licence period that lasts for a minimum of 3 years.

A full licence will not be given to you until your probationary period is over. If you are 21 or over you will move straight to a P2 probationary licence. fitting of alcohol ignition interlocks and severe penalties for drink drive offences. From 1 July 2008 there will be P1 and P2 probationary licences. when you are driving on a P2 probationary licence. page 68) • not drive a high powered vehicle (unless you are driving the vehicle during working hours at the request of your employer or have been granted a written exemption by VicRoads) • drive only a vehicle fitted with automatic transmission if you were tested in a vehicle fitted with automatic transmission. In addition to obeying the rules that apply to all drivers. A good driving record means you avoid having your licence cancelled or suspended.• not use a mobile phone while driving • have a zero Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) (see Alcohol. as well as avoiding any drink and/or drug driving offences. For those aged 21 years or over when applying for a probationar y licence: You must hold your probationary licence for a minimum of 3 years. before you can be given your full driver licence. page 68) • not use a mobile phone while driving 19 . you must: • display GREEN P plates on the front and rear of your vehicle (plates measuring approximately 150mm square bearing a white letter P on a green background) • carry your probationary licence with you at all times • have a zero Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) see Alcohol. There are severe penalties that may be applied for breaching any of these conditions. including licence suspension. A good driving record will be required to progress to a full licence.

fitting of alcohol ignition interlocks and severe penalties for drink drive offences.vicroads. Nissan 350Z.au or obtain an information sheet from any VicRoads Customer Service Centre. For more information about high powered vehicles. Porsche (all models) and Mercedes Benz SLK350. including licence suspension. There are severe penalties that may be applied for breaching any of these conditions. Honda NSX. A good driving record means you avoid having your licence cancelled or suspended. visit VicRoads website www. as well as avoiding any drink and/or drug driving offences.Ten steps to getting your licence • not drive a high powered vehicle (unless you are driving the vehicle during working hours at the request of your employer or have been granted a written exemption by VicRoads) • drive only a vehicle fitted with automatic transmission if you were tested in a vehicle fitted with automatic transmission. A good driving record will be required to progress to a full licence. • • 20 . Vehicles excluded from these restrictions are: • • diesel powered turbocharged or supercharged vehicles (without engine performance modifications) nominated vehicles with low powered turbocharged or supercharged engines.vic.gov. A HIGH POWERED VEHICLE is a vehicle that has: • • • • eight or more cylinders a turbocharged or supercharged engine an engine that has been modified to improve its performance AND/OR is one of a certain number of high performance six cylinder cars which include BMW M and M3. including Suzuki Cappucino 2D Cabriolet Turbo 3 cylinder 689cc and Daihatsu Copen L880 TD 2D Convertible 4 cylinder 659 cc all models of the Smart car produced by Mercedes Benz AND vehicles driven as part of the driver’s employment and at the request of the employer.

you can ask to have an Auslan interpreter present. You will need to take the renewal notice to any photo point listed on the accompanying pamphlet. If you are deaf. Interpreters are provided free of charge. you will be sent a notice to renew it. you can have an interpreter present during the test.STEP 10 Language Options When you go for your learner permit test or your probationary licence test. it is still your responsibility to renew your licence by the expiry date of your licence. you can choose to do the road law questions and the Hazard Perception Test on the computer in any of the following 20 languages: Albanian Arabic Cambodian Chinese (Mandarin) Croation English German Greek Italian Laotian Macedonian Polish Romanian Russian Serbian Sinhalese Somai Spanish Turkish Vietnamese Receive your full driver licence Before your P2 probationary licence expires. If you speak a language or dialect that is not on this list. 21 . pay the renewal fee and be photographed. When you book your test. You will then be issued with a full licence. just let the VicRoads officer know you need an interpreter. If you do not receive a renewal notice.

The Graduated Licensing System is one way of reducing this risk. The conditions of the System for those aged under 21 years when they apply for a probationary licence are in Table 1. in order to reduce their exposure to high risk situations as they move through the learner permit and the P1 and P2 probationary licence stages to earn their full driver licence. 22 . The conditions of the System for those aged 21 years or over when they apply for a probationary licence are in Table 2.The Graduated Licensing System During the first few months and years of driving. new drivers are more at risk of being killed or injured in a crash than experienced drivers. New drivers are given progressive steps.

it is advisable that you contact the interstate Transport Authority to check if additional rules apply. ASSESSMENT • eyesight test • knowledge test • good driving record • good driving record • Practical driving test CONDITIONS • L plates displayed at front & rear of vehicle when driving • must carry learner permit whilst driving • accompanied by a driver who has a full car licence (non probationary) • zero BAC • no mobile phone use. or messaging of any kind • no towing a caravan or trailer • drives a car only (not a bus or truck) • RED P plates displayed at front & rear of vehicle when driving • must carry licence when driving • zero BAC • no mobile phone use. only drives a vehicle with automatic transmission • not use a hand held mobile phone while driving The rules for drivers may vary from state to state. only drives a vehicle with automatic transmission • GREEN P plates displayed at • under 0.LEARNER PERMIT DRIVER'S MINIMUM AGE DRIVER'S ELIGIBILITY P1 PROBATIONARY LICENCE P2 PROBATIONARY LICENCE FULL DRIVER LICENCE 16 years • medically fit • evidence of identity 18 years • medically fit • evidence of identity • learner permit held continuously for a minimum of one year • Learner Log Book kept with a minimum of 120 hours supervised driving practice including 10 hours at night • Eyesight test • Hazard Perception Test (This test must be passed before the practical driving test can be conducted. DURATION L 10 years P 1 years (P1) P 3 years (P2) 10 years (or 3 years on request) 23 . This test can be undertaken at the age of 17 years and 11 months) 19 years • P1 probationary licence held for a minimum of one year (with no licence suspension) 22 years • P2 probationary licence held for a minimum of 3 years (with no licence suspensions) The Graduated Licensing System for people who are under 21 years of age when they apply for a probationary licence (on or after 1 July 2008). hands free or hand held.05 BAC front & rear of vehicle when • must carry licence when driving if under 26 years of age driving • not use a hand held mobile • must carry licence when phone while driving driving • zero BAC • high powered vehicle restrictions • if tested in an automatic vehicle. hands free or hand held. or messaging of any kind • high powered vehicle restrictions • no towing a caravan or trailer (unless for work or if under instructions) • not carry more than one passenger aged between 16 and 21 years of age • if tested in an automatic vehicle.

05 BAC • must carry licence when driving if under 26 years of age • not use a hand held mobile phone while driving 24 DURATION L 10 years P 3 years (P2) 10 years (or 3 years on request) . DRIVER'S MINIMUM AGE DRIVER'S ELIGIBILITY 16 years • medically fit • evidence of identity 21 years • medically fit • evidence of identity • learner permit held continously for a minimum of 6 months if aged 21 to 24 years. only drives a vehicle with automatic transmission • not use a hand held mobile phone while driving • under 0. hands free or hand held. or 3 months if aged 25 years or over 24 years • probationary licence held for a minimum of 3 years (with no licence suspensions) ASSESSMENT • eyesight test • knowledge test • eyesight test • Hazard Perception Test (this test must be passed before the practical driving test can be conducted) • practical driving test • good driving record CONDITIONS • accompanied by a driver who has a full car licence (non probationary) • must carry learner permit whilst driving • L plates displayed at front & rear of vehicle when driving • zero BAC • no mobile phone use. or messaging of any kind • no towing a caravan or trailer • drives a car only (not a bus or truck) • GREEN P plates displayed at front & rear of vehicle when driving • must carry licence when driving • zero BAC • high powered vehicle restrictions • if tested in an automatic vehicle.LEARNER PERMIT P2 PROBATIONARY LICENCE FULL DRIVER LICENCE The Graduated Licensing System for people who are 21 years of age or older when they apply for a probationary licence.

1 • Facing the real challenges of driving • Some facts about driving • How complicated is driving? 25 .

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making U-turns or turning at different types of intersections • effects of the time of day on visibility – night driving or sun glare when driving at dawn or dusk • unexpected actions of other drivers and riders – stopping quickly. These challenges include: • variety of traffic conditions – from light traffic in local streets to heavy peak hour traffic • extremes in weather – rain. driving must be easy. roads with trams or undivided main roads “Nearly everybody I know has a licence. Why should you practise when you think driving is so easy? Don’t be fooled into believing this is true. merging or turning without warning • types of roads – freeways. What is more challenging than driving? Nothing! 27 .1 The challenges of driving FACING THE REAL CHALLENGES OF DRIVING New solo drivers have often done very little driving. fog or icy conditions • different driving manoeuvres – driving in roundabouts. So. This can result in them having almost no experience of the real challenges of driving.” Many people believe this is the case.

• These crashes are not ‘accidents’ – they are due to drivers making mistakes. can help reduce the risk of a crash. including the mandatory 120 hours to be completed in the Learner Log Book by those aged under 21 years of age when applying for a probationary licence. on your own – with no supervising driver to give you advice or help. Think about the mistakes you’ve seen drivers make without causing a crash: – cutting off other cars – not giving way – misjudging gaps – trying to overtake when it’s not safe – just ‘not seeing’ other road users. Remember. So make the most of your time as a learner driver and don’t think that you can master the challenges of driving overnight – you’ll never really stop learning. Not all driving mistakes result in a crash. gravel or slippery surfaces • handling any of these challenges when faced with distractions inside the car – radio. If driving is so easy. 28 . SOME FACTS ABOUT DRIVING • In Victoria.Getting where you want to be involves more than just driving the car • imperfect road surfaces – potholes. noisy passengers or mobile phones. This is why Victoria has introduced the Graduated Licensing System. especially as a new solo driver. sometimes resulting in crashes? All young drivers face the same challenges because driving is complicated. can lead to making poor decisions when it counts. The worst time to gain this experience is when you are driving solo. and restrictions on new solo drivers for the first few years. being overconfident. there are several hundred thousand crashes every year. why do so many drivers regularly make mistakes. It requires a lot of time and effort to become a good driver. Research has shown that a minimum of 120 hours of supervised practice as a learner.

netball. You can find yourself driving every day of the week. perhaps on a Saturday afternoon. You will have practised for many. Everyone has the same equipment and can run around the field or court at a similar rate. from highways to local streets. The unexpected happens often. from freeways to shopping centre car parks. big cars. right up to the elderly. With ball games… How complicated is driving a car when compared with playing a ball game? With driving… Roads can vary enormously – ranging from busy city streets to country roads. You’ll find people of all ages on the road – ranging from small children and teenagers. trucks or semi-trailers. On the road everyone is headed somewhere different and may be thinking about things other than driving. Speeds can vary from a few kilometres an hour up to 110 km/h. such as football. You usually play at a regular time. Skills and abilities will vary – an older pedestrian may not move as quickly as a teenager. Learning to drive a car also requires lots of practice to develop your skills. You often play with teammates and other teams of a similar age and ability. Others drive small cars. through the day and late at night…and in all weather conditions. and some are riding bikes or motorcycles. Some are walking. early in the morning.HOW COMPLICATED IS DRIVING? You will most likely have played one or more ball games. a child on a bike may have little control. 29 . many hours trying to improve your skills. The playing field or court looks the same each time you play – a regular size and marked out in a set way. Everyone has one aim – to score a goal or point – and so you can often predict the play. basketball or hockey.

Is there a gap? When do you change? Do you need to slow down to let a gap ‘catch up’ to you? • Using your mirrors. Is this gap large enough? Is that vehicle approaching too quickly? Will they stop because the traffic light has changed? Now imagine all of these things. driving is much more complicated. 30 . doing headchecks. what your speed should be at various places on approach and whether you’ll need to stop completely. Lots to think about and do. a computer game or activities like inline skating. music or any other pastime than they do practising behind the wheel in preparation for solo driving? Even a common driving task like turning right at an intersection is very complicated: • As you approach the intersection you will need to judge when to start slowing down. changing gears and using turn indicators need to all be done at the right times. demanding and far more dangerous. • Now you are faced with the challenges in the turn itself. a musical instrument. all needing to happen in a short length of road and a short period of time. A HEADCHECK means looking over your shoulder to see things through the rear side windows – but don’t take your eyes off the road ahead for more than a second.Whether it is playing a ball game. and many others as well. • You will need to take the traffic around you into consideration. Does it make any sense that people usually spend more time practising sport. Are they changing lanes? Are the vehicles in front braking more than you? Are there pedestrians about to cross the road? • Perhaps you will need to change lanes to do the turn.

Given how complex driving is. it is important you prepare for the challenge! Point to remember: 1 Prepare for the challenge OBSERVE THE TRAFFIC Observe the traffic around you. THINK AHEAD Think ahead when you want to turn off or change lanes. do a headcheck and allow a big enough gap. Remember to indicate. Are other vehicles changing lanes or braking more sharply than you? Are there pedestrians about to cross the road? JUDGE THE DISTANCE Judge the distance between you and the vehicles in front and behind – before turning or changing lanes. FIGURE 1 31 .

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2 Learning to drive • How do you learn to drive? • Some facts about new solo drivers • Practice is the best way • Your supervising driver is there to help • Put variety into your driving practice • Traps along the road to solo driving • Check your progress 33 .

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By the time they have recognised the hazard it may be too late. Understanding that driving is complicated is one thing.2 Learning to drive Research shows that new solo drivers with about 120 hours of learner driver experience have a crash risk that is 30% lower than new drivers with only about 50 hours of experience. becoming a skilled driver is another. So they may miss things that can warn of potential problems. and passengers. It is exactly the same with driving. to the sides and behind. • They tend to watch the vehicle immediately in front rather than looking further ahead. 35 . Lots of people can help you – your driving instructor. you have – the more experience the safer you will be. The only way to learn to drive is by doing lots of supervised practice HOW DO YOU LEARN TO DRIVE? The more you do something. Athletes. the better at it you get. How well you can drive is limited to the amount of driving experience. music or the radio. • They tend to concentrate more on their basic driving skills than experienced drivers and can find it hard to deal with unexpected events. supervising drivers and friends. But learning to drive is mostly up to you and the only way to become a safe and skilled driver is by doing lots of supervised driving practice. musicians and artists know there is no substitute for continued practice – refining and improving skill and performance. This is why 120 hours has been set as the target for learners in Victoria. • They can be easily distracted from driving by things such as mobile phones. SOME FACTS ABOUT NEW SOLO DRIVERS Drivers with little experience make all sorts of mistakes – increasing the risk of a crash: • They are less able than experienced drivers to predict possible problems.

PRACTICE IS THE BEST WAY Every driving practice session really helps. New solo drivers tend to misjudge gaps in the traffic. You learn to deal with traffic and other hazards to become safe in varied driving situations. More supervised practice equals fewer crashes later on 36 . • Crashes that involve driving off the road. • Stage 2 is about applying your new car-control skills and looking out for other road users on quiet roads with little traffic. There are four stages you need to work through as a learner to become a safe driver: • Stage 1 is all about controlling your car. • Crashes into the rear of another vehicle. or being hit by a right turning vehicle. and aims to get you to start. and driving too close. stop and steer safely in a quiet area without traffic. Speed is a main cause.New solo drivers are more likely to be involved in: • Crashes at an intersection when turning right in front of an oncoming vehicle going straight ahead. New solo drivers are more likely to be in the vehicle that hits the one in front. These crashes occur about twice as often on a straight section of road than on a curve. even though you may not notice the small improvements: • your performance will get smoother • you will make better decisions • you will also get better at thinking about what might happen on the road around you. • Stage 3 takes longer and uses your Stages 1 and 2 skills on busier roads and in more difficult driving situations. not scanning the road ahead. The right structure for your practice will help you make sure you really are ready to drive solo by the time you go for your licence test. It’s the shortest stage. but other factors also contribute such as: – failing to predict a possible problem on the road ahead – being distracted or a lapse in concentration – poor vehicle control – failing to adapt to a change in road or traffic conditions. Now you start becoming a real driver. These crashes are often caused through speeding. Also alcohol affects safety related driving skills of inexperienced drivers compared to experienced drivers.

You still have your Ls on the car and a supervising driver beside you. Possible hazards can be the vehicles around you.HAZARD PERCEPTION is the ability to identify. Then when you hit the road on your own you’ll be ready. It involves driving as if you’re a solo driver. you begin to anticipate more and make better decisions as a driver. decide and respond to possible risks or dangers in the road scene around you. This is known as hazard perception. behind and beside you • the motorcycle in the side street to your left • the truck double-parked up ahead • the car approaching in the overtaking lane five car lengths behind you. such as: • the cars in front. assess. but you’ll learn to make most of the driving decisions yourself. which only comes with lots of experience. Being able to predict what may happen around you – as a driver – is an essential skill. Hazard perception is the ability to: • identify possible risks or dangers in the road scene around you • assess the level of risk and predict what might happen • respond in a way and in time to avoid or deal with these possible hazards. • Stage 4 also takes a long time and can be the longest stage. 37 . You will be given these booklets when you pass the learner permit test. Safe driving is about being ready for what may happen What happens in your head is more important than how well you control your car. Possible hazards can also be: • pedestrians • cyclists • weather conditions • potholes in the road • traffic conditions • the tightness of a curve ahead • a blind crest on a hill. With the information collected through lots of practice and experience. The aim is to build up lots of different experiences where you act like a solo driver. The Guide for Learners and the Guide for Supervising Drivers contains detailed advice about what you and your supervising driver need to do in each of these four stages.

You can only check everything out by doing a headcheck!

Hazards can be anything in the road environment that could present a danger or a risk while driving. New drivers often don’t see or anticipate the possible hazards around them. Because possible hazards can be anywhere, you can’t rely on just looking ahead and using your mirrors. Regardless of how well you set up your rear view mirrors, blind spots remain. These are areas behind the driver that can’t be seen using only mirrors, such as outside the rear passenger door on the driver’s side. You can only see in these blind spots by moving your head and quickly looking over your shoulder – this is called a headcheck (see headcheck definition, page 30). Do this as well as using mirrors to make sure you see everything around you, such as when reversing, changing lanes, merging or pulling out to overtake.

BLIND SPOT

BLIND SPOT

FIGURE 2

Be aware of your blind spots As a driver, knowing exactly what is happening around you at all times is essential. Learn to constantly scan and you will be in a better position to anticipate hazards and respond in the best way.

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To SCAN means taking in the road scene around you by looking ahead, to the sides and in rear view mirrors.

YOUR SUPERVISING DRIVER IS THERE TO HELP
Driving takes much more effort in the beginning, when you are learning. It is just not possible for new drivers to be able to do all that is required when driving – that is why you have your supervising driver beside you. They don’t take the place of professional driving instructors, but supervising drivers such as your parents, can provide the extensive practice opportunities you will need. They are there to help you: • with an extra pair of eyes to watch the road

To get started, have your first few lessons with a professional driving instructor

FIGURE 3

• with some decisions • as an early warning system – to help you anticipate potential hazards • by being a sounding board – there are a lot of things to make decisions about. Over time, and with lots of practice, as you progress through the four stages of learning to drive, the role of your supervising driver will gradually change.

Adjust your mirrors after you have positioned the driver’s seat so that you can see clearly. When adjusted correctly there will be an overlap between the view from your outside and inside mirrors. Adjust your outside mirrors so that they just catch a view of the edge of the car. In some cars, a good guide is to be able to see the rear door handle in the bottom corner of the side mirror.

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You can see the differences between an experienced and an inexperienced driver but the only way to get from one to the other is with lots of experience

You will take more responsibility for your driving and your supervising driver will do less. To help your supervising driver, once you have passed your learner permit test, you will be given the Guide for Supervising Drivers. This booklet provides lots of advice and ideas for supervising drivers on how they can help you with driving practice.

Research shows that learner drivers with 120 hours of driving practice can reduce their risk of a crash during their first two years of solo driving by 30% compared with those who have only 50 hours of driving practice.

It can be easy to find excuses for not getting the right practice you need, as you progress through each of the four stages of learning to drive. In Stage 1 you will need to plan specific practice sessions in quiet areas without traffic. As you progress to Stage 2 you will drive around routes you plan on quiet roads with little traffic. In Stage 3 you will drive on busier roads and in more difficult driving situations and begin to do more normal day-to-day driving tasks. In Stage 4 you will learn to make most of the driving decisions yourself, but still with your supervisor beside you, and you need to build your experiences in as many situations as possible. Avoid excuses for not getting the practice you need. In particular, when you are at Stages 3 and 4 you need practice especially when the situation is challenging, such as when: • traffic is heavy • conditions are bad – possibly wet and slippery at night • the road is narrow with lots of curves.

Your driving will develop with practice. In order to get lots of practice you need to enter a partnership with your supervising driver. This partnership is vital because you can only practise if your supervising driver agrees to let you drive.

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Naturally, there will be times when it may not be appropriate for you to get behind the wheel. You need to build on your experiences gradually and not try too much too soon. However, even these times when you are not behind the wheel, can still provide you with opportunities for learning and discussion with your supervising driver. Make the most of being a passenger and develop your observation skills – think about how you would drive in these situations! It is important that both you and your supervising driver feel comfortable with the type of practice you are getting. Gradually build up the challenges as you progress through each of the four learner stages, rather than jumping in at the deep end.
The Guide for Learners and the Guide for Supervising Drivers uses goals to help you and your supervising driver HOT TIP work out whether you are ready to move to the next step in building your driving experience.

PUT VARIETY INTO YOUR DRIVING PRACTICE
If you got your learner permit on or after 1 July 2007 you must keep a Learner Log Book as a record of your supervised driving practice (if you are under 21 years of age when you apply for a probationary licence). You should use the Learner Log Book as a tool to plan the types of driving experience you need and to make sure you get plenty of driving practice in a variety of conditions. It will also tell you at glance which types of driving experience and conditions you still need to focus on. Driving involves so many different situations and conditions. It is important to encounter as many of these as possible during your practice sessions. Increase both the amount and variety of practice to increase your chances to gain valuable driving experience.

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The same stretch of road can present very different challenges, depending on the combinations of traffic and weather conditions, time of day and road users at a particular time. The only way to be sure you can deal with these different challenges is to practise often in lots of situations with your supervising driver. Take every opportunity to practise for 10, 20, 30 minutes, or an hour. Short frequent drives are far more valuable than the occasional long drive, and at the start, shorter more frequent practice sessions are more productive and less stressful for both the learner and the supervising driver. Remember the more supervised practice you have in a wide variety of situations and conditions, the fewer crashes you are likely to have later on. So, what do you need to do?…Practise often!

QUIET CONDITIONS

BUSY CONDITIONS

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WET CONDITIONS

AT DUSK

GLARY CONDITIONS

AT NIGHT

The same location showing a variety of driving conditions

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But don’t become overconfident! 44 . However. The first one comes relatively quickly. These skills tend to come relatively quickly and can make you think you have learned it all! You feel better… before you do better! You will continue to learn and improve for years to come. Don’t fall into this trap! You may see early signs of improvement in your driving quite quickly – these tend to be mainly in controlling the car. What may have seemed difficult or impossible the very first time – such as just turning left – seems simple after a few lessons or a few hours behind the wheel. So don’t be fooled – keep practising! You will keep getting better even though you may not be aware that your skills are improving. It can appear that there is little left to learn after several lessons or a few dozen hours of practice – driving can seem easy. appearances are often deceiving. Driving tasks you seem to master will continue to improve for some time to come. but the rest will develop over time with lots of practice: 1 Car control – steering. That is why it is recommended that you organise your supervised driving practice around the four stages of learning to drive. using pedals. this is misleading. Practice will build your confidence in yourself as a safe driver and this is a good thing. There are five different types of skills you need to develop as a driver. buttons and other controls. With driving. Remember these tasks are only a small part of becoming a competent driver. brakes.TRAPS ALONG THE ROAD TO SOLO DRIVING As you progress with practice you may find that you seem to be picking things up quickly. There is more to driving than just car control.

when to change lanes or overtake. the sides. These and many other decisions need to be made every time you drive. New drivers tend to look mostly to the front. If you have a tyre blowout while driving. HOT TIP Some practice may make you good some of the time.au and search for ABS for more information. New drivers don’t identify risks as quickly as experienced drivers.gov. in the rear view mirror and taking notice of what is happening on the edge of your vision (peripheral vision).If your brakes have failed: • pump on the brake pedal hard and fast HOT TIP • apply the handbrake carefully so the vehicle doesn’t skid • if possible. what speed is best for different conditions.vicroads. The ability to make the right decisions only comes with experience and lots of practice. When ABS is operating there may be a vibration or shuddering through the car and the brake pedal may pulsate. Lots of practice will make you consistently good! To confirm if the car is fitted with ABS . Visit www. when to accelerate. This takes lots of practice to develop. 45 .check the owner’s manual or ask the owner. For ABS to work properly keep firm pressure on the brake pedal. 2 Visual scanning – looking to the front. 4 Identifying and weighing up risks – recognising a risk and taking the right action to deal with it takes practice.vic. 5 Making decisions – deciding when to slow down and by how much. take your foot off the accelerator and brake gently once you feel the vehicle is under some control. keep firm pressure on the brake pedal. remember to keep a firm grip on the HOT TIP steering wheel. Operation of Antilock Braking System (ABS) In an emergency stop with ABS. change to a lower gear (even in an automatic vehicle) and use your horn to alert other drivers • try to steer the vehicle so that you avoid a severe collision. 3 Thinking and responding – includes assessing hazards and judging distances between you and other cars.

exhaust emissions to the environment and wear and tear on your vehicle car control NEW DRIVER visual scanning thinking and responding identifying and weighing up risks making decisions SKILLED DRIVER DRIVER SKILLS THAT DEVELOP OVER TIME WITH PRACTICE CHECKING YOUR PROGRESS Here are some things to look at to check on your progress as you move through the four stages of learning to drive. your ability to control your speed on the road will improve. Don’t make your aim just passing the licence test! Make your goal being able to drive in a consistent way without making lots of mistakes. The mistakes 46 . This is shown by the red jagged line in the graph on the next page. but it will happen with continued practice! Speed Control Over time and with increasing experience. you make – such as stalling. This way passing the licence test should be easier and you won’t have to take the chance of making mistakes during the test itself. it’s all black and white – accelerate to go and brake to slow down (‘on/off’ speed). Consistency You will notice over time that your driving becomes much more consistent.Smooth driving minimises fuel consumption. grating gears. hitting kerbs and running wide – will go from being once every trip…to once a day…to once a week. In the early stages. Smoothness As you become more experienced you will find your driving changes from ‘clunky’ and ‘jerky’ to ‘smooth’ and ‘fluid’ movements. It doesn’t happen straight away.

try: • reversing over an extended distance – in a straight line • driving into and reversing out of an angled parking bay. These are good ways to assess how you’re going and can be a good indication of your level of vehicle control. aim at learning to drive safely! Seeing the big picture! SPEED CONTROL OVER TIME On/off speed (accelerate to go. You will discover that you have already noticed the traffic slowing way ahead or the car signalling to 47 . Low speed manoeuvres are a good way to test your performance. In a safe place with no other traffic. You won’t be focused just on what is happening on the road immediately in front or behind you. This is shown by the curvy green line in the graph. Better speed control goes hand-in-hand with other improvements you will experience in your driving – as you continue to practise. this will change from the ‘on/off’ style to an ‘ease-on/easeoff’ style. brake to slow) Target speed Ease-on/ease-off speed With practice you will find that you will be able to take in more of what is going on around you.Gradually. SPEE D TI M E Low speed manoeuvres When things are done more slowly there is more time for mistakes to be noticed. Don’t just aim at passing the test. with increased experience.

You will also develop the ability to quickly work out the best way to respond to different situations. Gradually your supervising driver won’t need to point things out to you as often. You need to scan the traffic and road environment all the time and expect the unexpected. Gaining independence You will notice a shift in how much you rely on your supervising driver. With increasing experience. You will develop the skill to know where to look and when to look. you will notice you are taking more responsibility for your driving – but still with the back-up from your supervising driver if it is needed. You will find that you begin to predict the chance of: • a car in front stopping quickly in heavy traffic • a pedestrian walking onto the road from between parked cars • varying road surfaces and conditions • other situations that can happen on the road around you.Most driving shouldn’t be surprising – not because it is boring. Basically. Remember you will be travelling at speeds up to 110 km/h – think about how important anticipation is! Anticipation! As your driving experience increases you will find that you are starting to think more about what might happen next – this is anticipation. before your supervising driver points it out. you will start looking at the big picture rather than focusing only on smaller parts. 48 . At the start you really need the extra set of eyes and a decision maker in the car with you. but because the surprises have been anticipated! pull out from the kerb. Anticipation is about being ready to respond to a situation before it happens! Regardless of how quick your reactions are you will respond faster if you have anticipated the need for action. helping you out.

Use the goals in the Guide for Learners and Guide for Supervising Drivers as a useful way to monitor how you are HOT TIP going. The more practice you do before driving solo the better prepared and safer you will be. long before you sit for your licence test. Remember to monitor the variety of driving practice you are getting through regularly reviewing your Learner Log Book. The changes will be gradual as you gain more experience through practice. Your aim should be to drive without relying on your supervising driver.You can ‘measure’ this by thinking about: • the amount of advice you ask for and get during your practice sessions – should I give way to the pedestrian? • the ‘warnings’ provided – watch the red car! • the decisions taken on your behalf – change lanes now because we have to turn right soon. Seeing the big picture only comes with experience Points to remember: 1 Prepare for the challenge 2 Practise often 49 . Of course you will still keep learning while driving solo but make the most of your time as a learner driver! Given the challenges of driving – variety and lots of practice is vital.

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3 Managing risk • Alcohol and drugs • Mobile phones • Speed • Fatigue • Seat belts • Vehicle maintenance • Managing driving risk • Your crash risk as a solo driver • Reducing your risk of a crash 51 .

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The more driving experiences you have with a supervising driver. It’s really up to you to drive within your limits. The best way for new solo drivers to manage the risk is to be really prepared Driving involves risk – a risk that you may crash and that you or others may be injured or killed. 53 . You also reduce the risk by making good decisions and taking responsibility for your behaviour when driving. These are risk factors you can’t ignore. the better prepared you will be later as a solo driver. Good drivers aim to reduce and manage the risk. You need to be responsible for your actions and make the right decision to manage these risks. The best way for new solo drivers to manage the risk is to be prepared.3 Managing risk Certain factors have been shown to increase the risk on the road: • alcohol and/or drugs and driving • speeding • fatigue – driving when tired • not wearing seat belts • poor vehicle maintenance.

To avoid the risks plan ahead: • organise someone to drive who stays alcohol and drug free • stay over rather than drive home • arrange to be picked up by a friend or relative • use public transport or take a taxi. Don’t just rely on what your friends say – talk to your doctor or pharmacist to find out more. MOBILE PHONES For all learners and P1 probationary licence holders (under 21 years when they get their licence) no mobile phone use is permitted. The same is true for other combinations of alcohol. Find out what effects the medicines you take may have on you. It is important to remember that alcohol can remain in your system some time after you finish drinking. drugs and certain medicines reduce your ability to drive safely. will drive as dangerously as a very drunk driver. Different drugs will affect you in different ways.ALCOHOL AND DRUGS Zero always means zero Alcohol. Don’t mix driving with alcohol or drugs (including medicines). More information on alcohol and road safety can be found on page 68. Many prescription and over-the-counter medicines can affect your ability to drive safely. As a learner or probationary driver you must stick to zero Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) – no alcohol at all. drugs and certain medicines. or messaging of any kind. hands free or hand held. The mix of any of these together is even worse than any one of them by itself. P2 probationary drivers (21 years or over when they get their licence) and fully licensed drivers of a vehicle (except an emergency vehicle or police 54 . There are absolutely no exceptions to this rule. This includes fitting of an alcohol ignition interlock for drink driving offenders caught with a BAC of 0. There are severe penalties for learner and probationary drivers who commit a drink drive offence. Drivers often test above zero BAC in the morning after drinking the night before.07 or more when they get their licence back. but they all have a bad effect on your driving. A driver who has had just a few drinks and used some cannabis.

Unfortunately this will not help for long – the only way to stop being fatigued is to get enough sleep. Speed is a factor in almost 20% of all fatal crashes and about 30% of crashes involving only one vehicle – such as running off the road. and affect your attention and judgment. More information on speed can be found on pages 46 and 76. Be aware of how your lifestyle affects you – try to avoid driving when you are tired. late-night jobs and studying. You might think that having coffee or taking a short break will stop fatigue.vehicle) must not use a hand-held phone while the vehicle is moving. or is stationary but not parked. Speeding just makes these harder. For new solo drivers speeding is even more risky. As a new solo driver it is difficult to do all the things you have to do: • scanning the road • anticipating possible hazards • making the right decisions for each situation. It also increases how serious a crash will be. The faster you go the greater your risk of having a crash. Going faster than other traffic reduces your margin for error. It can happen when: • you have not had enough sleep • you have been driving for too long without a break • you drive at times when you are usually asleep. It can: • cause you to fall asleep at the wheel • slow your reflexes. 55 . For young drivers. SPEED There is a clear link between speed and crashes. fatigue is often the result of having a busy lifestyle – parties. FATIGUE Driver fatigue is also a major cause of crashes.

HOT TIP Fatigue can be a side effect of using a range of substances – including alcohol. Fatigue slows you down in all sorts of ways – even very experienced drivers can’t drive if they are asleep! To reduce the chance of fatigue: • stop if you are tired and have a sleep • don’t drive at times when you would normally be asleep such as between 1am and 6am • ensure any medicines you take don’t cause drowsiness.Stop and have a sleep if you notice any of the following: • constant yawning • starting to drift across the lane • eyes closing or your eyesight getting fuzzy • trouble keeping your head up • speed is increasing or decreasing unintentionally • can’t remember the last few kilometres of road • day-dreaming. • On a long trip: – get plenty of sleep before the trip – share the driving whenever possible – plan ahead and rest overnight – take regular breaks – don’t start a trip after a long day’s work. 56 . Even a power nap of 15 minutes sleep can reduce your chances of having a crash.

Tyre problems are the most common cause of defect related crashes.com. and the ‘Buyer’s Guide to Used Car Safety Ratings’ brochure. 57 . but for your passengers as well. Being in control of your driving can also mean deciding not to drive Drivers will be fined if passengers under 16 years are not wearing seat belts or child restraints. Don’t just think about yourself – make sure your passengers also buckle-up! Did you know that most crashes happen on short journeys? So wear a seat belt at all times even if it’s only a trip around the corner.SEAT BELTS Wearing a seat belt increases the chance of surviving a crash – provided it is worn correctly. Wearing a seat belt is an important way of managing risk not just for you as a driver. • Prospective vehicle purchasers should check the safety rating of any vehicle they are considering to purchase. VEHICLE MAINTENANCE • Tyre pressure and tread depth need to be checked and maintained at safe levels.com. • Vehicles must be regularly maintained by an expert.au or brochure.ancap.howsafeisyourcar.au. You can also refer to the Australiasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) website www. Passengers 16 years or older will be fined for not wearing seat belts. More information on seat belts can be found on page 74. New and used car safety ratings can be checked via www.

Your ability to drive will improve with practice. Remember there is still a lot to learn. managing the risks of driving is also about choices: • you can choose to drive more slowly • you can choose to increase the space between you and the car in front • you can choose to stay behind rather than try and overtake – especially if you’re turning off in a few kilometres • you can choose to ease off a bit more when entering a corner. However.MANAGING DRIVING RISK Just after you get your licence… the most dangerous time of all! Practice prepares you to meet the demands of driving. When you are licensed to drive solo – without a supervising driver – you can also choose when to drive and when not to drive. 58 . so ease into it as a solo driver and let your experience build up gradually. You still need to build on your supervised driving experience after you have passed your probationary licence test. you decide. the better you get. You choose. But do this gradually as you get used to the additional challenges of solo driving. Give yourself a chance to ease into driving solo – perhaps you may not have a lot of HOT TIP night-time driving experience. The more you do.

It also shows that you will continue to improve for years after getting your licence. The choices you make during this time are very important. NUMBER OF MONTHS AFTER OBTAINING A LICENCE DRIVERS INVOLVED IN CASUALTY CRASHES AFTER LICENSING 59 . mixing alcohol or other drugs with driving. speeding. The challenge for you will be just as great as it is for other new solo drivers. The likelihood of a crash is almost halved after 6 to 8 months of solo driving experience. NUMBER OF DRIVERS 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 There are many reasons why the graph looks like this including: • poor preparation for solo driving • limited practice as a learner • taking unnecessary risks – being distracted.YOUR CRASH RISK AS A SOLO DRIVER The following graph shows the likelihood of being involved in a crash resulting in death or serious injury. The fact is that there are real and great dangers facing you as a new solo driver.

You may be young and have great reflexes. behind and to the sides of your vehicle. the greater the time you have to take action to avoid hazards REDUCING YOUR RISK OF A CRASH There are four simple strategies. you cannot expect to be able to anticipate as well as drivers with more experience. Relying on your reactions alone is a risky business. Strategy 1 Slow down just a bit Because you are still building your experience.The more space around your car. Safety margin The safety margin is the space ahead. You won’t notice going 2 or 3 km/h slower – it certainly isn’t going to delay you in any way – but it will give you more time to react to the unexpected. It makes good sense to build in a bit of a buffer – to take the pressure off and give you just that little bit more time. which will help you through: Strategy 2 Give yourself some space Having a bit more room to move gives you the space and time to overcome mistakes – including mistakes made by other drivers! Give yourself enough time to react by leaving plenty of distance between your vehicle and the vehicles around you. You need to be able to think ahead and respond in the right way. It is similar to slowing down a bit – a slightly larger margin for error can make the difference between stopping in time and crashing. but this is not enough to avoid a crash. So. slow down a bit! It means dropping your average speed by a few kilometres per hour. 60 FIGURE 4 .

Often. If your count is not at least two seconds then you’re too close. This includes: • when visibility is poor • if conditions are dark 61 . Ask your supervising driver to also do this and compare your results. You should be at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front. At least two seconds of time and the distance this represents under ideal driving conditions are necessary to give you time to react to any changes which may happen. You can check this by a simple test: • Focus on a marker in the distance such as a signpost or tree and note when the vehicle in front passes the marker. you may need more than two seconds. You must keep your vehicle a safe distance from any vehicle in front of you.2 seconds FIGURE 5 Following distance The following distance is the space or gap between you and the vehicle in front. A safe distance should be enough to allow time to slow down and avoid trouble. then count the number of seconds before your vehicle passes the same marker.

• if conditions are wet or slippery • when you have a heavy load • when the road is unmade. except: • in a built-up area (one with buildings next to the road. Strategy 3 Think ahead Don’t get caught up just looking at the vehicle in front. If you are driving a long vehicle (any vehicle which. Your supervising driver will be able to help you. or street lights). You don’t naturally look around like this. You can also use your time as a passenger to practise. Try using more familiar routes wherever possible. You will need to practise and think about what all the others on the road might be intending to do. under any conditions that are less than ideal. or • in a ‘Keep Left Unless Overtaking’ zone. You need to develop your judgement skills about what distance at different speeds represents two seconds.5 metres long) and you are following another long vehicle you must drive at least 60 metres away from it. This helps to reduce your workload and stress while driving. 62 . Plan your trips before you start out. is at least 7. Use a directory to check out the route you will travel so you know the way to go. But remember. together with its trailer. Look well into the distance. Keep your eyes moving and scan the traffic scene. to both sides and in your mirrors. This skill will only come with lots of supervised driving experience. a longer gap is recommended.

can also be a good safety strategy.Strategy 4 Driving safely at night Once you get your licence. particularly in the first few months of solo driving. especially at night. Points to remember: 1 Prepare for the challenge 2 Practise often 3 Drive within your limits and manage the risk Crash risk is higher at night. Keep your speed down. 63 . Not carrying more than one passenger during the first year or so as a solo driver. In the country this will be your headlight range. Ensure you get lots of practice driving at night when you are driving with your supervisor. and you will have time to react. ease into it and keep night driving to a minimum. You should be able to stop within the distance you can see. with half of all probationary night-time crashes occurring on Friday and Saturday nights.

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4 Rules and responsibilities • Alcohol • Drugs. medicine and driving • The law about seat belts • Speed limits • Road signs • Road markings • Traffic controls at intersections • Give Way rules • Turning • Freeways • Tunnels • Sharing the road safely • Parking • Penalties • Legal responsibilities • Crash responsibilities • First aid after a crash • Test yourself questions 65 .

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As a car passenger. knowing the basic road rules is essential. the red vehicle B must wait for the green vehicle A. Road law.au You can also purchase a copy of Road Rules – Victoria. For more information visit our homepage: at www.gov. the vehicles are coloured green and red.vicroads.4 Rules and responsibilities The rules listed here are only a summary of some of the road rules motorists must know. or view the relevant Acts and Regulations online (see Resources to help you. it’s more than what you know…it’s how you use it that is so important 67 . noticing mistakes other road users make. However. So what are the rules of driving? There is more to driving than just knowing the road rules. page 161). In the diagrams shown in this section. In all cases.vic. you should be watching drivers and traffic patterns.

This zero BAC also applies to all restricted motorcycle licence holders. professional driving instructors and some full licence holders who have previously had a drink driving conviction. hearing and brain are all adversely affected. A driver who has been drinking struggles to accurately judge speeds and distances and will often fail to respond to potential 68 .05 BAC. BLOOD ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION (BAC) is a measure of the amount of alcohol you have in your blood. All other full licence holders must be less than .05 grams or 50 milligrams of alcohol in every 100 millilitres of blood. buses and other large vehicles.05 means . The effects of alcohol on driving Alcohol affected drivers: • feel overconfident resulting in risk taking on the road • are often unaware of the level of their driving impairment • have slower reflexes and muscle co-ordination making it less likely that the driver will be able to stop or swerve in an emergency • are less able to process information and make appropriate decisions as their vision. It is measured by the number of grams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. drivers of taxis. For example. a BAC of .ALCOHOL Learner and probationary drivers must not drive with any alcohol in their blood.

What are the risks RISK OF ACCIDENTS 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 .04 . The graph shows the average relationship between the risk of having a crash and the amount of alcohol in the blood.06 .08 . steer a course within a lane.10 . Some of the factors that lead to a different BAC include: • gender – a woman drinking the same amount of alcohol as a man of a similar size will have a higher BAC • body size – a person of small build will have a higher BAC than a larger person drinking the same amount of alcohol • food consumption – food slows down the absorption of alcohol so. BAC (BLOOD ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION) RELATIVE CHANCE OF CRASHING AT VARIOUS BACS 69 . For inexperienced drivers the risk at any BAC level will be even higher.16 The risk of being involved in a crash increases dramatically if the driver has been drinking alcohol. respond to traffic signals and avoid a pedestrian who suddenly steps onto the road). You can drink the same amount of alcohol on different days and have different BAC readings each time. if you have not had a substantial meal before drinking. you will reach a higher BAC more quickly • rate of drinking and the types of alcohol consumed – the quicker you drink and the greater the alcoholic content of the drink. The ability to cope with more than one thing at a time is greatly reduced (for example.12 . the sooner you will reach a higher BAC Factors affecting BAC Alcohol affects different people in different ways and can even affect the same person on different occasions in different ways.dangers in the traffic environment.02 .14 .

help your guests to avoid drinking and driving. No amount of coffee.• general health – if you are in poor health. and make you feel more tired if you are already tired. amount of alcohol in your bloodstream or speed up the processing of the alcohol by your liver. fresh air or vomiting will help. your judgement will be impaired. Public breath tester You can measure your BAC level by using a public breath tester. The liver does this in its own time. • Arrange to be picked up by a relative or friend who hasn’t been drinking. You and your friend will need to agree not to drink when driving • Organise to stay the night. You would need to do this a number of times to get an idea 70 . If you are having a party. So work out your travel arrangements before you start drinking. exercise. It is important to remember that if you HOT TIP have a lot to drink the night before. cold showers. Only time reduces your BAC level Your body takes time to get rid of alcohol. you are likely to still have alcohol in your blood the next morning. The effect of alcohol can also exaggerate the mood you are in. they don’t change the How to avoid drinking and driving • Plan ahead. These are located in some hotels and are useful to determine your BAC level. • Share a taxi with friends • Take public transport • Organise with a friend to take turns driving. Whilst these may make you feel more alert. It is more difficult to plan how to get home if you have had alcohol to drink – remember. your liver is less effective in dealing with the alcohol you drink • use of other drugs – combining alcohol with drugs increases the risk of motor vehicle crashes even if the alcohol is consumed in small doses.

If their licence is not cancelled they will incur 10 demerit points and the P1 or P2 probationary period will be extended by six months. This reading will be used as evidence if you are over the legal limit. If you drive after drinking your driving will suffer – HOT TIP so remember. and how long it takes for your BAC to return to zero.05 or over this will result in a loss of licence for at least 6 months for a first offence.05 71 . Your licence will be cancelled and you will be disqualified from driving for at least 2 years if convicted. REFUSING A BREATH TEST IS AN OFFENCE. Thousands of drivers are randomly tested every week. Do not attempt to do this if you are intending to drive. It will immediately may have their permit or licence cancelled for up to 6 months. If the BAC is . the safest BAC is zero even when you have a full licence. you will be asked to do a second test on another breath testing instrument. Drivers admitted to hospital after any kind of road crash are required to provide a breath test or allow a blood sample to be taken. Heavy fines can also be imposed.of what BAC your usual pattern of drinking leads to.regardless of whether you are a learner driver or a fully licensed driver. Breath testing procedures Police can request the driver of a vehicle to undergo a breath test at any time. If you have a positive result. Penalties The penalties for exceeding the BAC laws are tough . There are many breath testing stations or booze buses patrolling Victorian roads. Probationary drivers with BAC of . You may also be stopped by police in other vehicles and asked to undergo a breath test. You will be asked to blow into a small device. If you haven’t been drinking there is no problem. give an indication of the alcohol in your blood – if any.07 and over will also have to fit an alcohol ignition interlock for a minimum of 6 months when relicensed. Learner and probationary drivers who record a BAC reading between zero and .

as your confidence goes up. having to stop suddenly or to respond to the actions of other vehicles or pedestrians. . Combining even small amounts of cannabis and alcohol causes much greater impairment than either one on its own. for example.DRUGS. and ecstasy (MDMA). MEDICINE AND DRIVING Medicines and illegal drugs that can affect safe driving are detected in over 30% of Victorian driver fatalities. In an emergency situation. Your ability to concentrate and maintain attention. Police have the power to undertake roadside saliva testing of drivers and riders. It is extremely dangerous when the effect wears off. Cannabis. uncontrollable sleep. Drugs like speed or ecstasy can make you feel as if you are a better driver. can make you unable to respond quickly enough to what other drivers are doing. Some illegal drugs present special problems. to detect the presence of speed (methamphetamine). Driving with these drugs in the blood or saliva is an offence and penalties (including licence loss) will apply. cannabis (marijuana) and heroin can affect your ability to safely control a vehicle. This can have serious consequences – for instance. as you are likely to experience sudden. and your ability to avoid the crash is reduced. which indicates recent cannabis use. THC. your driving skills go down. 72 Illegal drugs Illegal drugs such as ecstasy. Unfortunately. making you a danger to yourself and everyone else on the road. Important road signs may be missed. In Victoria it is an offence to drive a motor vehicle while impaired by a drug. the risk of a crash is increased. the active ingredient of cannabis. make decisions and to react to unexpected events is greatly reduced.

Some examples of prescription medications that can affect driving are: • sleeping tablets • muscle relaxants • sedatives • antihistamines (such as in hay fever or cold and flu medicines) • some strong painkillers. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist • Do not use other people’s medicines • Read the labels on all your medicines and heed their advice. Your doctor or pharmacist will be able to give you advice about this. and • reaction time.Medicines Many prescription medicines and some medicines bought over the counter from a pharmacist can impair your driving and increase the risk of crashes by affecting your: • mood • concentration • coordination. Not everyone will experience the effects of a drug in the same way. your driving will be as well 73 . Most medicines have no effect on safe driving. it is best not to drive until you understand and have experienced what effect it actually has on you. How to reduce the risk of a crash when on medication • Do not use alcohol with your medicines • Keep to the prescribed doses • Do not treat yourself with additional medicines or other remedies. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if the label on your medicine states that the medicine may cause drowsiness. When you start using a new medicine which may affect your driving. If you’re out of shape.

It is illegal to travel in the load area of any vehicle (for example a van or station wagon) unless using a properly constructed seat and correctly fitting seat belt or child restraint. or use alternative transport such as taxis or public transport. Never put more than one person in a restraint. THE LAW ABOUT SEAT BELTS Wearing a seat belt is the most effective measure for reducing serious injury in a crash. Seat belts must be securely fastened and properly adjusted if they are to do their job in a crash. It is because seat belts are so effective that all drivers and passengers must wear a seat belt or appropriate restraint if there is one available for use regardless of where they sit in the vehicle. If you have to continue to use medication that affects your driving in some way.If you are worried about the effect that your HOT TIP medicine has on your driving. 74 . Children need restraints that specifically fit their size and weight. stop your driving – not your medicine! Stop driving and contact your doctor or pharmacist if your medicine: • affects your reflexes • affects your ability to concentrate • makes you sleepy or drowsy • gives you blurred or double vision. This includes children and pregnant women. or call on a friend to drive you. plan ahead before you drive. Adult seat belts are not designed to protect small bodies in a crash.

Children using forward facing car seats or boosters in the front seat of a vehicle should do so with the seat pushed as far 75 . away from the dashboard as possible. Restraint Fitting Stations can help you fit a child restraint. More information about choosing and using restraints and Restraint Fitting Stations is available from VicRoads Customer Service Centres and the VicRoads web site: www. consult the vehicle owner’s manual for advice on positioning restraints. If a vehicle has air bags in other positions. Child restraint guidelines: • infant restraints are suitable for babies up to 9 or 12 kgs • child car seats are suitable for children 8 to 18 kgs • booster seats are suitable for children between 14 to 26 kgs • child harnesses can be used without a booster until children weigh 32 kg and are recommended if children are using a lap only seat belt. correctly installed and adjusted to fit the baby • passengers under 16 years are properly restrained by a seat belt or by a child restraint suitable for their size and weight.Children Drivers must ensure that: • babies under one year old are carried in an approved child restraint.gov. It is safer for children to travel in the back seat. Restraints and air bags A rearward facing restraint should not be used if the restraint is in a position where it will be hit by an exploding air bag.au HOT TIP Phone 1300 360 745 for the nearest location.vicroads.vic.

Buckling up takes seconds – serious crashes take lives. the sash passes between the breasts and the buckle is fastened down by the hips. Built-up areas The speed limit in a built-up area is 50 kilometres per hour (km/h) unless signed otherwise. 76 . SPEED LIMITS Speed limit signs tell you the maximum speed you can drive in normal conditions. You must always obey them by not exceeding the speed shown. The belt will not harm the baby if the lap part of the belt is below the bulge. An unborn baby is more at risk in a crash if a seat belt is not worn. A BUILT-UP AREA is where there are buildings and/or houses next to the road or there is street lighting at intervals not over 100 metres apart for a distance of 500 metres or more.Pregnant women Seat belts protect both pregnant women and their unborn babies.

Time based 40 km/h speed limits outside schools on 60 km/h and 70 km/h roads. In a shared zone. Some main streets in rural town centres have 50 km/h speed limits.Speed limited areas There are other signs which designate speed limits for whole areas (networks of roads) which have a sign on each road into the area. School speed zones Lower speed zones are being introduced outside all Victorian schools. drivers must give way to pedestrians. 40 km/h and 60 km/h static or electronic variable signs will be used to alert drivers to the lower speed limit. 77 . Shared zones Shared zones have a speed limit of 10 km/h or as indicated on the Shared Zone sign. Freeways and country roads The speed limit on freeways and outside built-up areas in Victoria is 100 km/h unless signs tell you otherwise. Permanent 40 km/h speed limits outside schools on most 50 km/h roads. On roads where the speed limit is 80 km/h or above.

slow down and try to anticipate what others may do. Light or heavy traffic If there is a lot of traffic. parked cars and people Where there are shops. Here are some factors you should consider. slow down to the average speed of everyone else and watch out for hazards. Shops. 78 . Speed limit signs tell you the maximum speed you must not drive beyond. Country roads and animals When you see animals – beware. Electronic variable signs at selected strip shopping centres indicate reduced speed limits at high risk times. Unpredictable surfaces The risk of losing control of a vehicle can increase as a result of deterioration in the road such as potholes. The time of the day It can be difficult to see the road ahead when you are driving into bright sunlight at dawn or dusk. You have to decide what is a safe speed within the specified limit. Watch your speed. Farmers often move sheep or cattle and you need to slow down while you are passing (see Sharing the road with animals. and parked cars can pull out from the kerb suddenly. so drive at a speed that will allow you to stop. Green lights can change to red A green light may turn red before you enter an intersection. Always try to be aware of the road surface conditions and if necessary adjust your driving technique and speed according to the conditions. They are unpredictable and can wander or dart onto the road. wheel ruts or grooves. Children can run out from between parked cars. slippery surfaces and loose gravel. page 135). Pedestrians often weave through cars stuck in peak hour ‘crawls’.Safe speeds for different needs There is no one best speed. Be alert. You will need to slow down. there are people and cars.

Dirt roads can become very slippery when wet or corrugated. such as other vehicles. brake gently if needed. Curving roads Slow down before entering a curve or bend. Slow down and drive at a speed appropriate for conditions because road holding is reduced and stopping distances are greater. Road works At roadwork sites the number of lanes is often reduced to protect road workers. then accelerate a little to drive out. Until further rain washes these away. You may need to use hazard warning lights or rear fog lights while parked. don’t panic. All drivers must obey the speed limits. Mud thrown onto windows can reduce visibility. and you are travelling too fast or too close – you will not be able to avoid a crash! Weather conditions Driving in heavy rain. or in some cases. Slippery roads Slippery roads can be caused by rain. Pulling the wheel quickly to get back on the road may lead to over correction and potential loss of control. take your time and steer normally back onto the bitumen when safe to do so. (see Driving in dangerous conditions or situations.Wear sunglasses and use the sun visor in your car. such as when passing an oncoming vehicle on a narrow road. 79 . skidding can occur. page 121). oil and dirt are washed to the surface. you may lose control of your vehicle. It can be dangerous to brake in a curve or bend. When rain first begins. If the vehicle in front of yours stops suddenly. You need to slow right down. Slow down. Dirt roads Dust from oncoming vehicles may conceal unexpected hazards. frost or ice. Rain makes all roads slippery. Road edge If you need to move a wheel off the bitumen. Not all areas that are slippery when wet are signposted – watch out for others. Slow down and always keep your distance from the vehicle in front in poor conditions of any sort. Take care when mist or fog affects visibility. Temporary speed limit signs are erected to guide traffic through the work site at safe speeds. frost or snow can be very dangerous – it may be difficult to see and roads may be slippery. a dip or corner. mud. pull over off the road and wait for the conditions to improve.

However. At 60 km/h you may cover up to 67 metres before you can stop. They are usually black and white. If you double your speed.How quickly do you think you can stop? Speed makes a big difference to your ability to stop. You must keep left This makes a significant difference to your chance of being involved in a crash. ROAD SIGNS Road signs are there to provide information to help keep you and others safe on the road. you cover almost 4 times the distance before you stop. sometimes with red indicating danger or a restriction. some regulatory signs are black and yellow: Beware – pedestrians crossing 80 . Regulatory signs These signs tell you what you must or must not do. At 100 km/h you may cover up to 142 metres before you can stop. You are committing an offence if you disobey these signs.

You must not turn left Hand held signs Hand held signs are often used at work sites. making a U-turn. Stop and Give Way signs These signs enable drivers to get through intersections and other places safely (see Giving way to vehicles at intersections. Be prepared to obey the sign.Follow these traffic signs These are signs showing which direction you must. You must not enter this road You must turn left You must stop 81 . Keep left unless overtaking Where this sign is shown. turning right. you must not drive in the right lane unless overtaking another vehicle. or must not take. They may also be found at school crossings. or when traffic is congested. page 97). avoiding an obstruction. or on multi-lane roads where the speed limit is over 80 km/h.

Take notice of the advice these signs give. to winding sections and sharp bends. A winding section of road A normal bend 82 .Warning signs These signs alert you of possible danger ahead. Intersection Warning signs Intersection Warning signs are used to warn you of the type of intersection ahead. Sharp bends Curves and bends signs Curves and bends signs tell you what to expect – from simple curves. They are usually yellow diamond shapes with black words or symbols. particularly when the intersection is dangerous or difficult to see. An INTERSECTION is where two or more roads meet and where vehicles travelling on different roads might collide. It usually means slowing down.

Intersection control warning signs Changing road layout End of divided road Cross-road intersection Traffic lights ahead T-intersection Stop sign ahead Two lanes are for oncoming traffic Staggered side road junction Roundabout ahead 83 .There are many types of intersections.

Advisory speed signs Advisory speed signs are sometimes used with other warning signs. Hollow/dip in the road Rail crossing ahead Slippery when wet Advisory speed sign used with curve warning sign Uncontrolled crossings ahead Gravel road Uncontrolled rail crossing on side road 84 . Changing conditions Railway level crossings When approaching railway level crossings – slow down and be prepared to stop. The advisory speed sign shows the maximum speed that is safe to drive in good conditions.

Road work signs These are usually temporary signs warning drivers to slow down and drive carefully because there are road works ahead.Pedestrian signs These signs warn drivers of pedestrians crossing the road. Workers on the road ahead Pedestrians crossing Left lane ends. Consider the safety of road workers when approaching road works. prepare to move (merge) into another lane Children crossing You may proceed slowly Slow down and be prepared to stop 85 .

ROAD MARKINGS It is important to be able to ‘read’ the white or yellow markings on the road. FIGURE 6 Single continuous dividing lines 86 . They give information such as road names. destinations along a route and distances to the destinations. Centre of the road dividing lines Many roads are painted with broken white lines and single continuous lines in the centre of the road.Direction signs These standard green signs with white lettering are common throughout the State. Road markings can create regulatory requirements which you must obey and are there to provide a safer driving environment.

You must not park opposite double continuous lines. You may cross these lines to enter or leave the road. 87 . or to enter or leave the road. but only overtake if the road ahead is clear. but only overtake if the road ahead is clear. Do not cross them to overtake or to turn.FIGURE 7 FIGURE 8 FIGURE 9 Broken white lines In Figures 6 and 7 you must keep left of the lines and drive as close to the left side of the road as you can. Double continuous white lines You must always keep left of these lines. Double white lines with a broken line closer to you You may cross these lines to overtake.

FIGURE 11 Broken white lines separating lanes 88 . Remember. Do not cross them to overtake or to turn. You may change lanes if you signal. You must drive with your vehicle completely within a lane. You must not park opposite the continuous line side.Lane markings Broken white lines separate lanes of traffic going in the same direction. and if it is safe to do so. you must give way to any vehicle already in that lane. FIGURE 10 Double white lines with a continuous line closer to you You must always keep to the left of these lines.

you may change from one line of traffic to another if you signal. Special purpose lanes Special purpose lanes include bicycle lanes.Roads without marked lanes Where there are no lane markings. However. Signs and/or road markings are used to set aside lanes for special vehicles. transit lanes and tram lanes. at all times. only when necessary to do so. Drivers must keep out of these lanes during the times marked on the signs or. Some examples of special purpose lanes are shown on page 90. to enter or leave the road. or to avoid an obstruction or turning vehicle. FIGURE 12 Overhead lane signals If overhead lane signals are in use. You must stay out of lanes with a red X. you may travel in these lanes for up to 100 metres (up to 50 metres in a bicycle lane). you may only pass another vehicle on the left side when it is turning right. If specified on the signs other vehicles may use these lanes. bus lanes. if there are two or more lines of traffic travelling in the same direction. if no time is specified. FIGURE 13 89 . However. and if it is safe to do so. travel in the lanes over which there is a green or white arrow.

You should be courteous to cyclists. or three or more people (T3 sign). you may drive along the bicycle lane for not more than 50 metres only if it is necessary to do so. and only move into a bicycle lane when it is safe to do so. page 129). If you need to turn left from the road. (See Sharing the road with trams. (See Sharing the road with buses. motorcycles. page 132). You may drive in a transit lane for no more HOT TIP than 100 metres if it is necessary to make a turn. 90 . trams and vehicles carrying two or more people (T2 sign). Transit lanes During times specified on the signs. Bus lanes For buses and other vehicles as specified on a sign. taxis. and for parking unless prohibited by signs. Bicycle lanes For cyclists only.Tram lanes For trams and public buses only. transit lanes are for buses. You must give way to cyclists in a bicycle lane.

you may go either way. You can drive over the painted island or stop to wait on it. They tell you the direction traffic in each lane must go. Arrows may also be applied to bicycle lanes.Traffic lane arrows Arrows are painted on the road at some intersections. Painted traffic islands Traffic islands are sometimes painted on the road before a right turning lane. as long as there are no double lines outlining the island on the left. but you must give way to any vehicle in a turning lane or entering a turning lane from a marked lane (see Figure 15 on page 92). You must not go in a direction other than that indicated by the arrows. You should not enter the painted island to turn right if the traffic is not banked up. FIGURE 14 91 . If two directions are shown. Sometimes a ‘head start’ area is provided so that cyclists can be seen by drivers when stopped at red traffic lights.

Red vehicle B must give way to green vehicle A (See Giving way to vehicles at intersections. page 97).Give Way line markings – with or without Give Way signs Stop line markings – with or without Stop signs FIGURE 15 Red vehicle B must give way to green vehicle A FIGURE 17 FIGURE 16 Red vehicle B must give way to green vehicle A (See Giving way to vehicles at intersections. page 97). 92 .

93 . Green means you may enter the intersection. Red means you must STOP.TRAFFIC CONTROLS AT INTERSECTIONS Traffic lights Half of all crashes happen at intersections. Stay alert and obey the intersection rules. Yellow means STOP unless you are unable to do so safely. Do not enter the intersection. but only if you do not block the intersection.

If the arrow pointing in the direction you want to go is red. Other road users must wait for the normal green light. yellow and green bicycle lights for use by bicycles. You must wait. You must not turn right You may turn left Tram may go.Traffic lights with arrows Traffic lights with arrows make turns easier. if the arrow is green you may proceed in the direction it is pointing if it is safe to do so. you must stop. buses and bicycles Some traffic lights signal a white T or B on a black background. You must wait. These are used for trams and buses at some intersections. You may turn right Traffic lights for trams. 94 . Some traffic lights may have red. Bicycle may go.

driving situations when you will be required to give way. you must remain stationary until it is safe to proceed. When this happens. 95 . person or animal you must slow down and stop if necessary to avoid a collision. page 97). (See Giving way to vehicles at intersections. If you are stationary.Pedestrian signals Turning vehicles must always give way to pedestrians who are crossing the road they are turning into (whether or not there is a green ‘walking figure’ facing the pedestrian). To GIVE WAY means that if there is a danger that your vehicle could collide with another vehicle. Traffic control signs Here are some everyday Stop and Give Way signs are used for safety control at many intersections and other places. one or more of the people involved must give way in order to avoid a collision. GIVE WAY RULES There will be many times when you are driving that your path crosses that of other road users.

and you must not overtake another vehicle which has stopped at a pedestrian crossing. At intersections When turning left or right at any intersection (except a roundabout). When entering the road from a driveway or adjacent land.Giving Way to Pedestrians There are a number of driving situations when you must give way to pedestrians. In slip lanes You must give way to any pedestrians in a slip lane. FIGURE 18 96 . page 123). path or nature strip you cross to enter the road. from other parts of the road by a painted island or traffic island. you must give way to pedestrians on any footpath. at some point. This also applies when leaving the road to enter a driveway or adjacent land. you must give way to any pedestrians crossing the road you are turning into. On the footpath A SLIP LANE is an area of road for vehicles turning left that is separated. At pedestrian crossings You must give way to any pedestrian on a pedestrian crossing. You must also give way to bicycles or other vehicles on the footpath. path or nature strip. At children’s crossings (See Sharing the road with pedestrians.

When passing a stopped tram you must give way to any pedestrians crossing between the tram and the left side of the road.In shared zones In a shared zone shared by both vehicles and pedestrians. When making a U-turn You must give way to all pedestrians as well as vehicles when making a U-turn. but also to any pedestrian at or near the sign or line. Giving way to vehicles at intersections Stop or Give Way signs or lines at an intersection After stopping at a Stop sign or line. you must give way to any vehicle in. At tram stops At Stop or Give Way signs or lines not at intersections You must give way not only to vehicles. you must give way to pedestrians (see Speed limits. page 76). 97 . This would include pedestrians as well as bicycles crossing in front of you on a shared path. or when facing a Give Way sign or line at an intersection. entering or approaching the intersection except: • a vehicle making a U-turn • a vehicle turning left using a slip lane • an oncoming vehicle turning right if that vehicle is also facing a Stop or Give Way sign or line.

which is not facing a Stop or Give Way sign 98 . In Figures 20 to 23. The Give Way rules apply equally for these smaller vehicles.When the law refers to VEHICLES. this includes not only motor vehicles but also horses being ridden and bicycles. red vehicle B must give way to green vehicle A FIGURE 19 Red vehicle B must stop and give way to green vehicle A. You could be charged just the same for failing to give way to a horse being ridden or a bicycle as for failing to give way to a truck! Giving way at intersections (except T-intersections or roundabouts) If there are no traffic lights or signs or lines at an intersection. you must give way to any vehicle on your right.

FIGURE 20 FIGURE 22 FIGURE 24 FIGURE 23 FIGURE 21 Red vehicle B must give way to green vehicle A 99 . you must also give way to oncoming vehicles going straight ahead or turning left (except if they are turning in a slip lane) as well as any vehicle on your right.If you are turning right at an intersection without traffic lights or signs or lines.

you must give way to vehicles travelling along the continuing road. 26 and 27. A T-INTERSECTION is where two roads meet and one of them ends. the red vehicle B must give way to green vehicle A FIGURE 25 The Give Way rule is the same for all T-intersections. FIGURE 26 100 . FIGURE 27 T-intersections may not always form a regular T In Figures 25.Giving way at T-intersections These diagrams show how to give way at T-intersections without lights or signs. or when traffic lights have failed or are flashing yellow. When you enter the continuing road from the road that ends.

you must give way to oncoming vehicles The red vehicle must give way to the pedestrian Some T-intersections are modified so that the continuing road goes round a corner. 101 . The road that ends is marked by a continuity line and Give Way or Stop lines or signs. The red vehicle B must give way to the green vehicle A. In Figure 30.FIGURE 28 FIGURE 29 FIGURE 30 When you turn right from the continuing road into the road that ends. the red vehicle B is leaving the continuing road to enter the road that ends at the intersection.

the red B vehicles must give way to the green A vehicles. or approaching the roundabout. 102 . In this diagram. you must give way to: • all vehicles already in the roundabout • all trams entering. Take care to look out for motorcyclists and cyclists already in the roundabout who may be harder to see. A roundabout sign FIGURE 31 Always give way to vehicles already in the roundabout. Enter only when there is a safe gap in the traffic.Giving way at roundabouts When entering a roundabout.

103 . but they must give way to drivers exiting the roundabout. The red vehicle B must give way to the green vehicle A. a central island and one or more marked lanes. Giving way on divided roads When a two-way road is divided by a median strip. a Give Way or Stop sign applies to the whole of the intersection. or lines of traffic. cyclists and animal riders have the option of turning right from the left lane.A ROUNDABOUT is an intersection with a roundabout sign at each entrance. all of which have vehicles travelling in the same direction. You must always keep to the left of the central island. A MEDIAN STRIP is a dividing strip on the road designed to separate vehicles travelling in opposite directions. FIGURE 32 Cyclists and animal riders In a roundabout.

or through a break in a median strip. Other driving situations when you are required to give way U-turn When making a U-turn you must give way to all other vehicles and pedestrians. therefore it must stop until that signal is green. Normally a vehicle in the same position as the red vehicle B could continue if it is safe to do so. However in Figure 33 the red vehicle B is facing a Stop Here On Red Signal sign. If there is no sign. Entering the road FIGURE 33 Whenever you enter the road from a driveway or adjacent land. you must give way to all vehicles and pedestrians.Turning from a divided road When turning from a divided road. you must give way to traffic when entering a road from a break in the median strip after turning. you must give way to all vehicles travelling on the road. you must obey the signs on the road you are turning from. 104 . Entering the traffic stream Whenever you enter the traffic stream from a parked position.

and must give way accordingly. but don’t take your eyes off the road ahead for more than a second.Changing lanes Whenever you change lanes from one marked lane or line of traffic to another. Zip merging If you are on a road where there are no lines marked and the road is such that two rows of vehicles must merge into one. FIGURE 34 When two lanes of traffic merge into one and there are no lane markings. Red vehicle B must give way to the green vehicle A 105 . Make a headcheck whenever you are HOT TIP changing lanes or pulling out from the kerb. this is commonly known as ZIP MERGING. for example when merging into freeway traffic. This includes whenever you cross over any broken line marked on the road which indicates that a lane ends. you must give way to any vehicle which has any part of its vehicle ahead of yours. This is called zip merging. then you are not zip merging but changing lanes. you must give way to vehicles already in that lane or line of traffic. Note: if you cross any lines marked on the road.

You must signal for at least 5 seconds when moving from a stationary position at the side of the road or from a median strip parking area. TURNING Plan your turns well in advance. The signal must be given for long enough to warn others that you are about to change lanes or direction. and proceed carefully. Move into the correct lane long before you need to turn. road users can make mistakes about HOT TIP who should give way. Never assume the other driver has seen you or will give way to you. Always make eye contact.Police directions You must always follow instructions from a member of the Police Force or authorised person rather than any other traffic control signal or rule. Remember. Making turns Signalling your moves Always use your indicators to let others know you are about to turn or change lanes. 106 . Use the indicators to give other road users plenty of warning.

To make a left turn you must approach the intersection as close to the left side of the road as possible. you must turn using the slip lane (see slip lane definition. Where there is a slip lane. page 96). but keep clear of any bicycle lane.Making right turns Making left turns FIGURE 36 FIGURE 35 Right turns on multi-lane roads On some multi-lane roads. FIGURE 37 To make a right turn you must: • approach the intersection as close to the centre of the road as possible • turn just right of the centre of the intersection. If road markings indicate how a turn is to be made. 107 . you must make a turn as indicated by the road markings. arrows painted on the road will show you if right turns may also be made from other lanes.

5 metres long displaying a Do Not Overtake Turning Vehicle sign may use more than one lane to turn (see Sharing the road with trucks. arrows painted on the road will show you if left turns may also be made from other lanes.advisable that you stay in the same lane as you go from one road to the other. Hook turns Exception to the turning rules Trucks or vehicles over 7. The signs may be at the side of the road or hung from tram wires. But look out for cyclists on your left who may be going straight ahead. Hook Turn signs are found at some intersections in Central Melbourne. 108 . FIGURE 38 Left turns on multi-lane roads For a multi-lane road. If road markings allow turns from more than one lane. page 133). it is FIGURE 39 Hook Turn sign A driver turning right at an intersection with traffic lights and a Hook Turn sign must turn right by making a hook turn as shown in Figure 40. so be alert in checking for these signs.

Wait here until the lights in the street you are entering have changed to green Turn and continue straight ahead 2 Move forward. keeping clear of any marked foot crossing. you must: 1 Approach and enter the intersection from as near as possible to the left. Indicate that you are turning right FIGURE 40 Doing a hook turn – turning right from the left lane 109 . 4 Turn right into the road and continue straight ahead.To make a hook turn. until your vehicle is as near as possible to the far side of the road that you are entering. You must be in the left lane to make a hook turn. 3 Remain at the position reached under Step 2 until the traffic lights on the road you are entering have changed to green.

(if the sign is not at an intersection continue on until you reach an intersection before you make a U-turn) No Right Turn sign • at a No Right Turn sign unless there is a U-turn Permitted sign. 110 . You must not make a U-turn: • over double lines or where there is a No U-turn sign.A cyclist may make a hook turn at any intersection – not just at hook turn intersections. No U-turn sign • at an intersection where there is a No U-turn sign U-turns When making a U-turn you must: • have a clear view of traffic in either direction • complete your U-turn without disrupting other traffic • signal your intention for a reasonable time • give way to all other vehicles and pedestrians. FIGURE 41 Where there is no median. Remember to watch out for traffic approaching from behind you. it is advisable that the U-turn be made from the left side of the road.

it is advisable to turn into the nearest lane. the turn must be made from the right lane. Turning into one-way roads When turning left or right from a two-way road into a one-way road. you must turn from a position close to the side you are turning towards. Turning from one-way roads When turning left or right from a one-way road into a two-way road.Turning and one way roads FIGURE 42 FIGURE 44 FIGURE 43 Where there is a median. 111 .

Drive in the same lane through the roundabout. but if practicable. Drive close to the centre of the roundabout and follow the right lane as you leave. FRONT 112 . so different rules apply. When making a three point turn you must: • put your left signal before stopping at the kerb • put on your right signal before leaving the kerb • look in both directions before commencing the turn • proceed across the road to the opposite kerb • look in both directions along the road before reversing • look in the direction of travel before and during reversing • after reversing. A three point turn is used to turn your car around on a road which is not as wide as your car’s turning circle. Signal a left turn on your approach to the roundabout and keep the signal on until you have left the roundabout. signal left as you exit. Signal a right turn on your approach. Turning right Always approach the roundabout in the right lane. and signal left. look in both directions before moving off Cyclists and animal riders may make a right turn from a left lane. You need to follow these rules about turning left or right or going straight ahead. Do not signal on your approach to the roundabout. if practicable. The Give Way rules on page 102 explain what you must do when entering the roundabout and who should give way. just before the exit you are turning into. Sometimes roundabouts have more than one lane. Decide before you enter the roundabout if you are going to turn right.Making turns at roundabouts A roundabout is considered to be a special type of intersection. keeping the signal on until you have left the roundabout. Turning left Approach in the left lane and stay in that lane. HOT TIP Three point turn Going straight ahead Approach the roundabout in the left or right lane. left or go straight ahead.

Make sure you obey them.Where arrow(s) are marked on the road before or in a roundabout you must drive in the direction of the arrow(s). FIGURE 45 113 .

continue travelling on the freeway until you reach the next exit. taxis or where applicable. vehicles carrying at least two people. there are special rules that apply when driving on a freeway. if the lane to the right of that is a transit lane. Entering a freeway • Adjust your speed as you drive along the entry ramp to match that of the freeway traffic. merge smoothly with the freeway traffic. Exit lanes are usually on the left. • Adjust your speed once you have entered the exit ramp. Do not reverse on a freeway. and may only be used by public buses.FREEWAYS As freeway speeds are often high and the traffic is heavy. • Maintain your speed and signal your intention to exit well in advance. Overtaking lane Be extra alert on freeways as traffic travels at high speed. motorcycles. • Give way to traffic on the freeway. This rule also applies to the right lane used by all traffic. • Clearly indicate your intentions. A TRANSIT LANE is marked by a Transit Lane sign. You must not drive in the right lane unless overtaking or unless all lanes are congested. If you miss your exit. • Where there is a large enough gap. Exiting a freeway • Watch for signs that tell you that you are approaching an exit ramp. 114 .

Lower limits apply when traffic is congested or when an incident has occurred (e. DRIVING SAFELY IN TUNNELS Information for learner drivers Things you need to be aware Start tollway sign You are entering a tolled section of road. use the emergency stopping lane only. of when driving in tunnels.Stopping You must not stop on a freeway except in an emergency. so that your vehicle is more visible. Look for speed limit signs and stay within the limit in accordance with conditions. Variable speed zones Electronic variable signs on freeways indicate reduced speed limits at high risk times. If you do not want to enter the tollway. • Turn on your head lights. 115 . a crash or broken down vehicle). Put on your hazard warning lights. If you must stop. Signs are displayed to advise drivers that they will soon be entering the tollway. • Tunnels usually have variable speed limits. Tollways TOLLWAYS are sections of road which the driver must pay to use. Advance warning tollway entrance sign You are about to enter the tollway from a non-tollway road. • Remove sunglasses before entering a tunnel. take the next exit.g.

Always use your indicators to show your intention to merge or change lanes. Tunnels have re-broadcast systems that convey safety and traffic information to drivers via their radio and the tunnel public announcement system. • Do not stop in a tunnel except in an emergency or if directed by the tunnel controller. always obey signs and controller instructions. Even if you can’t see the problem. The best way to make this happen is to co-operate and help each other.• Check and obey variable message and lane control signs that provide important information about safety and traffic conditions. • Do not enter a tunnel if your vehicle is very low on fuel. • If you really need to overtake another vehicle (e.g. • Do not reverse in a tunnel. buses and trams • pedestrians • motorcyclists • cyclists. Co-operative driving We all have places to get to and want to arrive there safely. it is broken down) make sure you are clear of all other traffic and it is safe. 116 . when the traffic is crawling along. Try to drive out of a tunnel even if your vehicle is damaged or has a mechanical malfunction. • Turn your car radio on. • Lane changing causes many crashes on busy arterial roads. SHARING THE ROAD SAFELY As a driver you share the road with many other people: • other drivers of cars. vans. Avoid lane changing and overtaking while travelling through tunnels. It doesn’t really hurt or waste any time to let somebody in from a side street. • Stay out of closed lanes. trucks.

It involves people losing their cool. You can avoid road rage easily. buses and trams. Drive smoothly and avoid fast start/stop driving – you’ll save fuel and pollute less (and save money as well!).Other simple strategies include: • not blocking intersections • always using your signals when turning or changing lanes • not following too closely behind • smoothly controlling your speed rather than driving in a fast start/stop manner • changing lanes correctly • slowing down when approaching road work sites. perhaps in response to a mistake or action of another driver. motorcyclists. • Don’t take the mistakes of other drivers personally remember it’s a mistake not a personal attack. trucks. • Keep your cool and keep your distance! • Drive co-operatively and consider the other people on the road! Co-operate to keep your cool and you’ll be a winner 117 . Co-operative driving helps you to be a ‘green HOT TIP driver’. cyclists. These include places where: • two lanes have to merge • the left lane ends • extra lanes exist just before and after intersections • overtaking lanes or divided roads end • cars are parked and there is not enough room for two vehicles to pass. the need for co-operative driving is at its greatest. In these places. Even better leave the car at home and walk. acknowledge it. Remember that co-operation is not just limited to other car drivers. • The fundamental rule is don’t retaliate – it’s never worth it! • If you make a mistake while driving. There is a relationship between driving style and the impact your driving has on the environment. ride your bike or use public transport! Keeping your cool when driving Road rage is dangerous and illegal. You are also sharing the road with pedestrians. There are times and places when co-operation is essential.

If it is left on. you must keep out of the right lane unless you are: • overtaking • turning right • making a U-turn • avoiding an obstruction. 1 Using your indicators You must use your indicators when: • turning to the right or left • changing lanes or line of traffic • overtaking • making U-turns • pulling into and out of parking spots • leaving a continuing road which curves to the left or right • leaving a roundabout (if practicable) • moving to the left or right from a stationary position. or • traffic is congested. you must signal for at least five seconds. Here are some of the ways you can signal your intentions. it is best to signal for at least 30 metres or about the length of two houses and driveways before turning or changing lanes. Check that your indicator is off after you have made HOT TIP your turn or lane change – it may not have turned off by itself.Sharing the road with other motorists Keeping to the left On multi-lane roads with a speed limit over 80 km/h. You must also keep out of the right lane where a Keep Left Unless Overtaking sign applies. In 60 km/h zones. Signalling your moves Before turning or changing lanes you must signal for long enough to give sufficient warning to other drivers and pedestrians. Before moving from a stationary position at the side of the road or a parking area in the middle of the road. 118 . other drivers will think you intend to turn.

Make sure you indicate in such a way that your signal cannot be misleading.Watch other vehicles’ indicators and make sure they are doing what is indicated. try and make eye contact. 2 Using your brake lights Every time your foot touches the brake pedal. or has been put on too early. Likewise. but could be heading for trouble as vehicle A’s signal could be misleading. So give lots of warning by braking early and slowing gradually. Sometimes an indicator has not cancelled from the last turn. especially at intersections. FIGURE 46 These vehicles are signalling their moves. To make sure another driver knows you are there. your brake lights glow. they may well be looking at you to see that you know they are there! The ability to blend in with traffic comes with experience and reflects an awareness of what other drivers reasonably expect Use indicators even if there is no-one else around – it’s the person you cannot see who can be the most dangerous. warning other drivers you are slowing down. 3 Making eye contact As well as watching out for indicators. 119 . Look at other drivers. you will need to slow down when the brake lights on the vehicle in front of you are glowing red. you can get an idea of what another person might do by making eye contact.

your lights should also be on. High-beam headlights Headlights on high-beam enable you to see further. slow down and pull over until your eyes recover. Because headlights on high beam may dazzle the oncoming driver’s eyes. Don’t be dazzled by high-beam Look to the left side of the road and drive towards the left of your lane if a car with highbeams on is approaching. Your headlights and tail lights must be on between sunset and sunrise. you must ‘dip’ them to low-beam when another vehicle is within 200 metres. If the street lights are on. You must also dip your headlights when driving 200 metres or less behind another vehicle. HOT TIP FIGURE 47 120 .4 Using your headlights and tail lights Headlights help you to see at night. If dazzled by the lights. Headlights and tail lights help others to see you in poor light conditions. They must also be on in hazardous weather conditions where there is reduced visibility.

If possible. If you can’t get completely off the road. Driving in dangerous conditions or situations You may use hazard warning lights if you are driving in dangerous weather conditions. How to overtake safely If someone is overtaking you. you must not overtake. you must not increase your vehicle’s speed. Warning others of your approach You must only use your horn if it is necessary to warn other road users of the approach or position of your vehicle. • Make sure you have a clear view of any approaching traffic and that there is enough space to overtake safely. Always make a final headcheck before changing lanes or overtaking 121 . try to stop where people have a clear view of you and your vehicle. Remember that it is hard to estimate the speed of approaching vehicles. Turn on your hazard warning lights to warn HOT TIP other drivers. or if you are driving slowly and likely to obstruct other vehicles or pedestrians. If your vehicle doesn’t have hazard warning lights use your left indicator instead. You must not operate rear fog lights unless driving in fog or hazardous weather conditions. pull out of the traffic flow. If there are double continuous white lines or double white lines with a continuous line closest to you. such as fog. Lift your bonnet or boot lid to show other drivers you are in trouble.Using emergency signals If your vehicle breaks down on the road Make sure other drivers can see your vehicle and stop in time. Here are some tips to reduce your risk when overtaking: Overtaking on a two way road • Check the centre of the road markings (see Road markings. page 86). Don’t stop just over a hill or just around a curve. or smoke.

then indicate left when safe to return to your lane. If in doubt – don’t pull out. • If you are not sure you have enough time. you may overtake in the left lane but remember you are less visible to the driver of the vehicle you are going past if you overtake on the left. 122 . unless the vehicle is turning right. • Use your right indicator to let others know you are about to overtake. You must not overtake either a moving or stationary vehicle on the left. One way to know if it is safe to return to your lane is when you HOT TIP see both headlights of the vehicle you have overtaken in your rear view mirror. • Never overtake if the road is not wide enough for you to stay completely on the sealed part of the road. and has its right indicator flashing. Overtaking where there are oncoming vehicles Never underestimate the space and time you will need to safely overtake when there are oncoming vehicles. It is hard to judge the speed at which they are travelling. A few seconds or minutes could save your life.• Check that the vehicle in front or behind is not also about to pull out to overtake. Overtaking where there are no lane markings When a road has no lane markings. unless you can do so at a low speed. A vehicle behind may want to overtake both you and the vehicle in front. Overtaking where lanes are marked When a road has lane markings. accelerate and overtake the vehicle. just wait. or making a U-turn from the centre of the road. Be careful. You must not exceed the speed limit at any time. • You must keep a safe distance when overtaking and not return into the line of traffic until you are a sufficient distance past the vehicle you are overtaking. you must overtake a vehicle on its right side. • When safe.

FIGURE 48 A person pushing a bicycle is also considered to be a pedestrian. At children’s crossings PEDESTRIANS include not only people on foot but also those on wheeled devices such as skateboards.Overtaking where there are hills and curves If your view is blocked. rail crossings. You must not overtake another vehicle stopped at a pedestrian or children’s crossing. and wheelchairs/motorised mobility devices. You should watch out for them at all times. Sharing the road with pedestrians Pedestrians don’t always do what you expect. rollerblades. you must not overtake when there are double unbroken white lines. Wait until you are on a clearer section of road. More information on giving way to pedestrians can be found on page 96. Remember. don’t pull out. Always approach a children’s crossing at a speed which will let you stop. Overtaking at intersections. Here are some places where you should take extra care. shopping centre entrances and pedestrian crossings These are never good places to overtake. You must stop at flagged children’s crossings if a 123 . or double white lines with a continuous line closest to you.

at some locations. You must give way to any pedestrian on a pedestrian crossing. lights at intersections. Elderly people may not cross the road in the time allowed by the lights. Pedestrian traffic lights are often located away from intersections to enable pedestrians to cross roads safely. you must give way to pedestrians crossing the road you are entering. At pedestrian crossings Always approach pedestrian crossings at a speed which will let you stop. However. Be patient and wait for them. Not all pedestrians look before they step onto crossings. so take care. You must also stop if a hand held Stop sign is displayed.pedestrian is on or entering the crossing. These crossings have When Flashing Give Way To Pedestrians signs. even if there is no crossing supervisor present. drivers may proceed when the yellow light starts flashing. You must not proceed until the pedestrian has left the crossing. At intersections and traffic lights When turning. These traffic lights generally operate the same as FIGURE 49 124 . provided they give way to any pedestrian still on the crossing.

It is also a good idea when you are waiting to pick up a bus passenger to park on the same side of the road that the bus will be travelling. tram stops and bus stops Slow down when approaching safety zones. and a traffic island or dividing strip. FIGURE 50 Slow down when approaching safety zones. tram stops and bus stops. tram stops and bus stops. A SAFETY ZONE is the area of the road at or near a tram stop with safety zone signs. 125 . There is always the risk of pedestrians getting off a tram or bus and crossing the road without looking. There is always the risk of pedestrians getting off a tram or bus and crossing the road without looking. More information on Sharing the road with trams can be found on pages 97 and 129. Pedestrians are often hard to see when stepping out suddenly from behind or in front of a bus or tram.At safety zones.

car parks and other busy places there is a greater chance of pedestrians crossing the road unexpectedly or stepping out from behind or between vehicles without looking. 126 . Near schools Take care when driving near schools especially at times when children are arriving or leaving. Slow down and be alert. If you cannot see if anyone is coming. At shopping centres and car parks At shopping centres. sound your horn and then drive out very slowly. you must stop and give way to all pedestrians walking to and from the kerb. Watch out for 40 km/h or 60 km/h speed zones outside schools. Watch out for children riding on bicycles or skateboards. FIGURE 52 FIGURE 51 At tram stops where there is no safety zone between you and the tram. You must give way to any vehicles or pedestrians when leaving any private property.When coming out of driveways On paths You must give way to any vehicles or pedestrians on a path which crosses the road if you are facing a Give Way or Stop sign.

They need to keep well clear of parked cars in case doors are opened carelessly – so give them room. such as libraries. Near libraries and senior citizens’ clubs Be alert and take extra care in areas which elderly people frequent. Sharing the road with cyclists and motorcyclists You need to be especially alert for cyclists and motorcyclists. You should overtake cyclists or motorcyclists only if you can safely move to the right. Vision impaired Be aware of pedestrians with poor or impaired vision who may be using a white cane or white walking stick. leaving at least one metre clearance. Wet weather Pedestrians may hurry and take risks in the wet. Cyclists and motorcyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as you. They are entitled to ride two abreast (up to 1. Slow down and take extra care in these conditions. So give them space. They may not pay attention to the traffic before crossing the road. Near hotels or nightclubs Pedestrians who have been drinking may be impaired by alcohol. Where children are walking or playing Beware of children darting out suddenly from between parked cars near playgrounds or anywhere you see children walking or playing.Beware of children coming out from HOT TIP between parked cars – they are often hard to see over the top of cars. Give cyclists and motorcyclists their own space.5 metres apart). this makes them easier to see. They may not see your vehicle clearly or be able to judge the speed of your vehicle. 127 . as they are more at risk than drivers. senior citizens’ clubs and homes for the elderly.

Riders can be hidden by FIGURE 53 Allow at least one metre clearance between your vehicle and cyclists or motorcyclists. Remember: Always ‘Look Bike’. may not be if there is a motorcycle among the cars.Never share the lane with cyclists or motorcyclists if you cannot leave this clearance. Keep a good lookout for them. FIGURE 54 Seven out of ten motorcycle crashes happen at intersections. particularly before turning or entering an intersection or changing lanes. Intersections are where most motorcycle accidents happen because vehicles turning left or right cut across in front of the rider. What looks like a safe gap in traffic. such as trucks and buses. more than 1 metre Watch out for cyclists and motorcyclists Bicycles and motorcycles are smaller than cars and therefore harder to see and are more likely to be hidden in your blind spot. 128 . Motorcyclists and cyclists should also keep a safe distance from other vehicles and not travel through small gaps between lines of traffic. Motorcycles accelerate faster than cars. large vehicles which are overtaking them. Only move left or turn left from behind a large vehicle when you have a clear view and are sure that the road is clear.

you must not exceed 10 km/h while passing the tram. allow the tram to pass you or keep going and turn right further on.Sharing the road with trams Remember these general rules about sharing the road with trams: • Do not overtake a stopped tram. • Buses travelling along tram tracks must be treated as trams. If you want to turn right. However. • You must not pass on the right of a tram unless tram tracks are at or near the far left side of the road. Do not pull out in front of a tram and do not delay a tram. FIGURE 55 Broken yellow lines next to tram lines means the tram has priority at all times 129 . • You must give way to a tram moving into or across a roundabout. You can cross a broken yellow line and drive on tram tracks at any time. Broken yellow lines next to tram lines These lines on roads give trams priority at all times. however you must not delay a tram. You must stop level with the rear of the tram and wait for people to get on and off. You may only overtake a stopped tram if there are no pedestrians on the road and you are facing a green traffic light or if a uniformed tram employee signals you through.

Reflective markers are used to show that the tram lane operates at all times. The same rules apply to these tram lanes as to those with only a continuous yellow line. You may use a tram lane to enter or leave the A TRAM LANE is a part of the road with tram tracks that is marked along the left side of the tracks by a continuous yellow line. to avoid an obstruction. Part time tram lanes have tram lane signs over the lane which indicate the hours of operation and a continuous yellow line to the left of the tracks. You must not delay trams even during the times when the tram lane is not operating. You are not allowed to travel in a tram lane during the times it is in operation (as shown on the tram lane signs). and is indicated by a Tram Lane sign. road. 130 . however you must not delay a tram. or make a right hand turn or a U-turn.Full time tram lanes These tram lanes are in operation at all times and the tram lane sign will not show any times of operation. You may enter the lane to drive across an intersection. Part time tram lanes FIGURE 56 Full time tram lanes have continuous yellow lines next to the tram lines. make a right turn or a U-turn. as long as you do not delay a tram or travel in the lane for more than 100 metres.

Be careful and leave plenty of room. Trams are longer and heavier than cars and it takes them longer to safely stop. So. but move to your own lane as soon as possible to avoid delaying a tram. to warn of a section of road where trams have priority at the times marked on the Tram Lane signs. you may not be able to avoid driving in the tram lane.Fairway signs A Fairway sign may be used in addition to the Tram Lane signs and yellow lines. FIGURE 57 Part time tram lanes have continuous yellow lines next to the tram lane lines and tram lane signs over the lane indicating the hours of operation. Fairway and common sense If a parked or double parked vehicle blocks your lane. This is their ‘safety margin’. when you are overtaking a tram or changing lanes. Fairway sign Tram lane sign 131 . don’t pull into the empty space immediately in front of a tram. You won’t be breaking the law.

buses are given special lanes. However. You must also stop if the twin red lights outside a Fire Station or Ambulance Station are flashing.Sharing the road with buses On some roads. you may drive in a bus lane for no more than 100 metres if it is necessary to: • turn left • to overtake a vehicle that is turning right or making a U-turn from the centre of the road • when first entering or leaving the road. These vehicles have exemptions to break rules in the case of emergencies and may act unpredictably. Sharing the road with police and emergency vehicles You must get out of the way of a police or emergency vehicle when its siren is on or it is displaying red or blue flashing lights. Give way and stop if necessary (despite any other rules). 132 . Watch out for buses pulling out from the kerb In a built-up area you must give way to a bus displaying a Give Way To Buses sign and signalling that it is about to pull out from the kerb into the left lane. Only public buses or other vehicles as specified on the sign may use these lanes. More information on built-up areas can be found on page 76. even if you have a green traffic light.

it may hit you or another vehicle. Be careful and leave yourself plenty of room when turning in front of an oncoming truck. Always be prepared to allow extra room for a truck to swing in or out of delivery points. the truck driver cannot see you Blind spots – be seen. More information on blind spots can be found on page 38. be safe All vehicles have blind spots where the driver loses sight of vehicles around them. Sometimes this will require extra patience and courtesy on your part to let them do so safely. or decrease speed and pull back to where you can be seen. don’t pull in to the empty space immediately in front of a truck. If possible make eye contact with the driver to let them know you have seen them. Either accelerate to overtake if safe to do so. 133 . The blind spot is greater for truck drivers. Don’t cut in Trucks are longer and heavier than cars and it takes them longer to stop safely. roads or loading docks to pick up and deliver goods. If you cannot see the the truck’s external mirrors. If you can’t see the whole front of the truck HOT TIP in your rear vision mirror before you pull into the same lane. the truck driver cannot see you. when you are overtaking a truck or changing lanes. So. Trucks pick up and deliver goods Be prepared for trucks that are entering or leaving driveways. If you cannot see the driver in the truck’s rear vision mirror. This is their ‘safety margin’. This should be a ‘no stay spot’.Sharing the road with trucks and other heavy vehicles Here are some tips about sharing the road with trucks of any size. there may not be enough room for the truck to stop safely behind you if the traffic suddenly stops.

merging into traffic or going uphill. Make sure you can see the entire front of the truck and a little space around it in your rear vision mirror before you pull in after you overtake. amber flashing lights always indicate caution is necessary. is displayed on a truck which is longer or wider than usual. Pilot vehicles provide advance warning to other road users of the presence of OVERSIZE vehicles and VicRoads vehicles manage traffic. The load may even overhang into your lane. Take notice and watch what is different about it and adjust your driving to suit. Signs on trucks An Oversize sign. Trucks displaying this sign may need part or all of two lanes to turn and can legally do so (see page 108 for more information). and will need extra room to safely stop behind you.5 metres long and requires more turning room to negotiate corners. Some oversized trucks are supported by pilot vehicles and VicRoads Transport Safety Services vehicles. sometimes accompanied by flashing amber lights. or to reduce speed if necessary. Remember. Be prepared to overtake if it’s safe. A Do Not Overtake Turning Vehicle sign tells you that the truck is at least 7. This sign tells you that you must not overtake alongside a turning truck. intersections or roundabouts. You need to allow for this if you see a truck pulling into traffic up ahead of you. Pilot Vehicle VicRoads Transport Safety Services Vehicle 134 . A Long Vehicle sign is displayed on a truck that is much longer than normal. It will take longer to overtake.The nature of trucks Trucks are bigger and heavier than cars and slower to accelerate especially when starting.

Sharing the road with animals Each year there are a number of serious crashes involving horses and other farm animals. Farm animals on roads A Give Way To Stock sign may be displayed on country roads to enable stock such as cows or sheep to move across or along the road. Horses Slow down and watch out for horses being led or driven on the road – leave as much space as possible to allow for unexpected movements by the horse. Blind spots are increased when the truck is turning HOT TIP and the chances of damage to your vehicle. Stay where you can be seen so you can be safe. 135 . Never use your car horn around horses – it may startle even the most placid horse and could cause it to bolt and cause a crash. injury or death is increased.

booms and flashing lights 136 . at a speed which will allow you to stop if necessary. Railway level crossings Look and listen for trains when there is a crossing ahead.Warning signs are also displayed on the approaches to permanent stock crossings. you must stop before reaching the crossing and must not proceed until all animals have crossed the road. When a Give Way To Stock sign is displayed. Gates. you must travel at a safe speed that will enable you to slow down or stop to avoid a collision with an animal either at or near the sign or within the distance shown on the sign. Obey the tram level crossing signs. Drive slowly. The following information also applies to tram level crossings. When a Stop sign is displayed at a stock crossing.

There may be other signs you must obey at railway level crossings. Usually there are warning signs placed well in advance of these crossings. Look both ways for trains If you have stopped for a train. don’t move off until you have checked that another train is not following or coming the other way. particularly in the country. you must not cross unless there is room for your vehicle on the other side – otherwise you could be stuck on the tracks in the path of an oncoming train. 137 . Look and listen for trains in both directions. Following other signs or directions Where there are no gates. booms. booms or flashing lights At some railway level crossings. you must not cross until signals have stopped flashing and the gates or booms are fully open.Where there are gates. booms or flashing lights. You should also stop if a railway employee signals you to stop. These are usually either Give Way or Stop signs. take extra care. Keep clear of the train tracks If there is traffic stopped on the other side of the railway crossing. where there are no gates. or flashing lights at railway level crossings. Slow down.

having your hazard warning lights on will not change this. in line with and close to the kerb. leaving a door of a vehicle open. When you park beside the road look out for cyclists before opening your car door. Look out for cyclists before you drive out of your parking space. Stopping or parking regulations apply even if you have stopped or parked your car and have your hazard warning lights on. You must park completely within the parking bay.PARKING Parking is not as easy as it seems. you need to observe and interpret many types of parking signs. less than 3 metres A person must not cause a hazard to any person or vehicle by opening a door of a vehicle. If signs say it is illegal for you to be stopping or parking at a place. or exiting a vehicle. more than 1 metre more than 3 metres FIGURE 58 138 . So that you don’t cause problems for others or risk parking fines. There are three types of parking: 1 Parallel parking This is the usual way to park unless signs tell you otherwise.

unless a sign indicates you may do so. 2 Angle parking 3 Centre of road parking FIGURE 59 FIGURE 60 You must park at the angle indicated by the signs or marked bays. Do not reverse out of these spots. 139 . You must drive in forwards and drive out forwards. you must park at a 45°angle.If parking bays are not marked. Where no angle is indicated by signs or marked bays. you must: • leave one metre between you and the vehicles in front and behind • park with your vehicle facing the direction of travel of vehicles next to where your vehicle is parked • not unreasonably obstruct the path of other vehicles or pedestrians.

Some parking signs provide more details than others. Some group meters print out a ticket you must display on your dashboard. The 1P sign on the right indicates a one hour time limit during the hours of 9am to 12noon on Saturdays. Outside that time period parking is allowed with no restrictions. For example. the sign above left indicates a five minute parking limit. The parking limits apply during the periods shown on the sign.Parking control signs Parking signs Parking signs tell you whether or not you can park. hours of 9am and 4pm from Monday to Friday. 2 2 Any number next to the ‘P’ indicates the amount of time you can park. whilst the sign on the right shows a one hour limit. during which hours. for how long. the five minute parking sign on the left means that parking is allowed for a five minute period between the Meter parking An individual parking meter next to your vehicle means you must pay as instructed on the parking sign or meter. A group meter for the parking area nearby means you must purchase a ticket. and if you have to pay. For example. A sign with the letter ‘P’ only means you can park without a time limit. General parking signs 140 . Follow the instructions on the meter or sign. Any other time you are free to park in that area with no restrictions.

No Stopping signs These tell you that you must not stop at the kerb for any reason.Other group meters require your parking bay number (marked on the road) and electronically record your fee paid and time allowed. All meters are checked regularly by parking inspectors. even if you stay in the vehicle. Where not to park No Parking signs Parking for disabled Parking bays with this sign or that are indicated by a road marking have been set aside to allow disabled persons easy access to places such as shops. 141 . you are considered to have parked. reserved parking spots without a valid disabled permit. You must not park in these You are allowed two minutes in a No Parking area only if you remain within three metres of the vehicle and you are picking up or dropping off passengers. otherwise if you stop. libraries or community centres.

Zone signs Clearway sign used at start of clearway Loading Zone sign Unless another limit is specified on the sign.Clearways Clearways help traffic move faster during peak times. No time limit is applied for a truck loading or unloading goods.5 tonnes. goods. a loading zone is only for goods carrying vehicles with a ‘G’ code included on their registration labels. On the signs the letter ‘C’ means clearway – you must not stop here for any reason during the hours and days noted on the sign. signed delivery and courier vehicles. This sign is used within the clearway 142 . trucks while dropping off or picking up Truck Zone sign Only for trucks with a gross vehicle mass over 4. and public passenger vehicles or taxis that are dropping off or picking up passengers (30 minute limit or as shown on the sign).

Permit Zone sign Only for vehicles displaying a valid permit for that zone issued by the relevant authority. Typical use of Tow Away Zone signs 143 .Tow away zones Bus Zone sign Only for public buses. Works sign Only for vehicles engaged in construction work in or near the zone. Taxi Zone sign Only for taxis.

A Tow Away zone means your vehicle will be towed away if you park at this spot during the times specified. ie. Not only do you pay a parking fine. half out of a No Parking or No Stopping area • opposite continuous double white lines • opposite a continuous white line next to a broken white line with the continuous line closer to you 144 . General stopping and parking rules You must not leave a vehicle stationary: • double parked • where there is a Keep Clear road marking • within an intersection (except on the continuous side of a continuing road of a T-intersection) • on freeways (except in an emergency stopping lane) • across a lane or private driveway • where you would leave less than three metres of road clear for traffic • on the wrong side of the road. on the far right side of a two-way road • on a footpath or reservation (unless the vehicle is a motorcycle or bicycle) • in a bus lane • half in. you also need to pay a fee to reclaim your car.

or unless signs allow • next to a continuous yellow edge line. 145 .• within 20 metres of: – both sides of an intersection with traffic lights – the approach side of a bus stop – the approach side of a children’s crossing – both sides of a level crossing – the approach side of a pedestrian crossing that is not at an intersection • within 10 metres of: – an intersection without traffic lights – the approach side of a tram stop sign – the departure side of a bus stop sign – both sides of a safety zone – the approach side of traffic lights not at an intersection – the departure side of a pedestrian crossing that is not at an intersection – the departure side of a children’s crossing • within three metres of an Australia Post mail box • within three metres of the departure side of a crossing with traffic lights not at an intersection • within one metre of a fire hydrant • on a curve or crest outside a built-up area unless visible for 100 metres from behind.

300 or four months imprisonment for a first offence and mandatory imprisonment for up to two years for a second offence). page 148).PENALTIES All traffic offences will result in some type of penalty. as well as avoiding any drink and/or drug driving offences. If a licence or learner permit is not held. or you may be taken to court. the Sheriff’s Office or by VicRoads is not permitted to drive. A licence or learner permit may be suspended or cancelled as a result of: • a Court conviction • a Traffic Infringement Notice • accumulation of demerit points • action taken by the Sheriff’s Office • action taken by VicRoads. These include monetary fines. 146 . Suspend The licence or learner permit is withdrawn for a specified period. Severe penalties exist if driving while suspended. A good driving record means you avoid having your licence cancelled or suspended. or whilst disqualified (over $3. The following provides a summary of the actions that may arise from a traffic offence. However. unlicensed. Remember that a good driving record is required if you are to progress through the Graduated Licensing System. Many offences also attract demerit points. a person may be disqualified from obtaining a licence or a learner permit for a specified period. In most serious cases prison sentences may be imposed. loss of your learner permit or licence. In most cases the original licence or learner permit is returned. You cannot drive during this period. A person who has their licence or learner permit suspended or cancelled by a Court. a Traffic Infringement Notice. a new licence will need to be issued (see Penalties for probationary licences holders. Contact VicRoads for further information. if the suspension has resulted in a change to the conditions of the licence.

licence suspension or. collect fines and civil debts. imprisonment. These offences generally have fixed penalties and include parking offences and driving offences. You cannot drive.Cancel A licence or learner permit that is cancelled is no longer valid. payment of licence fee) Disqualify Permission to apply for a licence or learner permit is withdrawn (if one is not held) as a result of a cancellation or suspension. Reissue of the licence or learner permit may require one or more of the following actions to be completed: • knowledge of road law and/ or practical driving test • an order from a Court to be relicensed • an education course to be completed • other requirements as specified by VicRoads. Sheriff’s Office The role of the Sheriff’s Office is to enforce Court Orders. Once the period of cancellation is over. Demerit points range from one to ten depending on the severity of the offence. as a final option. Infringements Court The role of the Infringements Court is to administratively resolve unpaid infringement notices. a Court may impose a jail term as well as a monetary fine. (i. You need never know about these things… but that’s up to you and the way you decide to drive Imprisonment In some cases. Demerit points Demerit points are one type of penalty that will be recorded against your driver licence or learner permit when you commit certain traffic offences anywhere in Australia. 147 . This may include the seizure and sale of assets. you will need to apply to have your licence or learner permit reissued before you can start driving again.e.

au Penalties for probationary licence holders If your first probationary licence is suspended or cancelled during the P1 licence. for those under 21 years of age. your licence will be restricted. Further information and a full list of offences and demerit points can be found at VicRoads website: www. This gives drivers the opportunity to learn from their repeat mistakes. where any further demerit points lead to at least 6 months licence suspension. If your licence is not suspended you would have chosen the twelve month bond. If your probationary licence is cancelled. and it is 3 months if you are aged 25 years or over. your licence will be reissued as a probationary licence for a further three or four year term depending on your age. 148 . If you get 12 or more demerit points in any 3 year period. Restrictions may be imposed on carrying passengers in your vehicle for the balance of your P1 period. it may affect the permit holder’s eligibility to apply for a licence.gov. For those aged 21 but under 25 years the period is 6 months.Learner and probationary drivers who incur 5 or more demerit points in any 12 month period may have their licence suspended for at least 3 months. you may have your licence or learner permit suspended for at least 3 months. The probationary period (P1 or P2) will also be extended. Penalties for learner permit holders If a learner permit is cancelled or suspended.vicroads. as a learner permit must be held for continuous period of 12 months immediately before applying for a licence. but makes licence loss a reality for persistent offenders.

This can only be done in person at any VicRoads Customer Service Centre. Deaths and Marriages in Australia) • Divorce Papers • Deed Poll (pre 1 November 1986 in Victoria) Carry your licence You must carry your probationary licence whenever you drive. It must be supported by original documents along with either a photo licence or documents that prove your identity. If a Court Order is required to be produced due to an alcohol or drug driving related offence. The following documents are acceptable for a change of name: • Marriage Certificate (issued by the Registrar of Births. there are a number of additional legal responsibilities you must fulfil. 149 . LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES As the holder of a licence or learner permit. a full licence will be reissued when all relicensing requirements have been met. then a three year zero BAC restriction will be imposed on the licence when it is reissued. If you are under 26 years of age you must carry your licence at all times when driving.Penalties for full licence holders When a full licence is cancelled. Change of name You must notify VicRoads within 14 days when your name has changed. All learner drivers must carry their learner permit at all times when driving.

2 By attending in person at any VicRoads Customer Service Centre See the list on the inside back cover. These forms are also available on the VicRoads website. You may notify your change of address in one of the following ways: Notification of a disability You must notify VicRoads if you have an illness or disability that may impair your ability to drive safely. 3 On the VicRoads homepage www.au 150 . You will need to provide a current medical certificate from your treating medical practitioner that states your fitness to drive and provides details of your illness or disability.• Change of Name Registration (after 1 November 1986 in Victoria) • Guardianship Order • Adoption Paper • Birth Certificate (issued after 26 June 2000 in Victoria shows the change of name details on the back of the Certificate).vic.vicroads.gov. Standard medical or eyesight report forms are available from any VicRoads Customer Service Centre or by calling VicRoads. Change of address You must notify VicRoads within 14 days when your residential or postal address has changed. 1 By calling VicRoads Telephone numbers can be found on pages 8 – 9.

causing loss of traction or excessive noise or smoke. address.Air and noise pollution You must ensure any vehicle you drive meets relevant air and noise emmission standards. you must report the crash to the nearest open police station. 151 . or their representative. you can be fined up to $8000 and/or be imprisoned for up to two years. and for improper use of a motor vehicle. Hoon driving Police have the power to impound motor vehicles for at least 48 hours if used for offences such as excessive speeding. CRASH RESPONSIBILITIES If you are involved in a crash causing death or injury and do not stop and give assistance. If you are involved in a crash there are certain things you must do immediately after the crash. and to the police (if in attendance) • If anyone is injured and the police are not in attendance. you must report the crash to the nearest open police station • If there is any property damage and the owner (or police) are not present. registration number details and the vehicle owner’s name to the other parties involved in the crash. What you must do after a crash • Stop immediately • Give assistance to any injured person • Provide name. You will also lose your licence for at least two years. Drivers of offending vehicles may be fined or taken to Court and the owner may be issued with a notice to repair the vehicle.

These are called VicRoads ‘Help Phones’ and can be used 24 hours a day for vehicle breakdowns or any other kind of emergency. To call a tow truck. The phones are directly linked to the VicRoads Traffic Control and Communications Centre. police or fire brigade. FIRST AID AFTER A CRASH The following first aid information is based on current Red Cross teaching in line with Australian Resuscitation Council guidelines. phone 13 1176. and to help those people involved in the crash (see First aid after a crash on this page). To call an ambulance. 152 . There are emergency phones on the side of the road on most freeways throughout Victoria. phone 000.There are other things you should do at a crash scene to prevent other people getting hurt. These guidelines are intended to provide basic principles to assist at a crash site and/or attempt resuscitation.

call for an ambulance. Applying first aid after a crash Many of us may need treatment after a road crash at some stage of our lives.. Someone else may use it to help you in an accident. follow the following steps. Read these simple instructions now and keep this handbook in your car. try to remain calm and.To learn basic first aid such as CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) you will need to undertake an appropriate course.. and you are first on the crash scene. Making sure that they are breathing 3. Stopping heavy bleeding 153 .. or send someone to call them • ask if there is anybody trained in first aid at the crash site and if not. Keeping a person’s airway open and clear 2. • remember that acting quickly is important • if necessary. 3 things that could save a life. Whether or not we survive until trained help arrives may well depend on somebody’s willingness to give first aid. 1. If you are at a crash site..

or use headlights to light up the scene if necessary. Check the casualties Check airway .continue to maintain an open airway . Stop the heavy bleeding 3.check airway. • Send someone down the road to warn approaching traffic. Survey the scene 2. Check for signs of life (movement.look for the rise and fall of the chest . Survey the scene Four ways you can help casualties after a crash: 1.1. Check the casualties . Make the crash scene safe and protect the area 3. 2. breathing.open the casualty’s mouth and check for any loose or obstructive objects eg loose dentures. clear from airway . and turn off the ignition in damaged vehicles 154 . tilt the head back. colour. to warn other motorists. Make the crash scene safe and protect the area • Position your car with its hazard lights flashing.feel for the casualty’s breath on your cheek .if airway is clear. vomit. blood etc.if the casualty is not breathing begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (see page 156).. etc) • Is the area safe for you to approach? • Ask bystanders to help make the area safe • Count the number of people who are injured • Call an ambulance (dial 000) or send someone to call them • Ask if there is anybody trained in first aid at the crash site. and check for breathing Check breathing . breathing and signs of life 4.listen for breathing .

gently touch the casualty on the shoulders. page 157) For conscious. unless circumstances arise. For casualties unconscious and NOT breathing: Even if the casualty is injured. do so carefully and gently because of the risk of spinal injury or increased bleeding For unconscious. If a casualty inside or outside a vehicle must be moved to escape danger. whilst waiting for the ambulance to arrive • If the casualty is lying on the ground. you will need to remove them from the vehicle to perform the following steps on next page: 155 . breathing casualties outside the vehicle: • Keep a close eye on them to make sure their airway is clear and they are still breathing. ie: they stop breathing their condition worsens it is no longer safe for them to stay in the vehicle. or for you to give CPR. they do not have to be unnecessarily removed until specialist help arrives. give a simple command eg. “squeeze my hands” to see if they can respond • Check for and control any heavy bleeding (see Stop heavy bleeding. breathing casualties still in the vehicle: • If you are certain that the vehicle and surrounds are safe. and the casualty is either conscious and/or breathing. it is vital to keep them on their side in a stable position • With their head tilted back and face pointed down in order to maintain an open airway.For conscious casualties: • Talk to the casualty. tell them your name and reassure them • If there is no response.

Cardiopulmonary (CPR) Resuscitation
With casualty on their back, check airway... 1. Tilt the head back fully to open with airway

3. Breathe into the casualty until the chest begins to rise

6. Check to see if casualty is now breathing by watching for chest rise and fall, whilst at the same time, checking for signs of life. If the casualty is still not breathing... 7. Begin CPR and continue until Emergency Services arrive

4. Remove your mouth (make sure the chest falls) 5. Give another normal breath
Note If performing CPR on children, use minimal head tilt and small breaths. For infants, give small puffs and do NOT use head tilt.

2. Cover the casualty’s mouth with your mouth blocking their nose with your cheek

156

4. Stop heavy bleeding
Heavy bleeding of any type can be fatal. Heavy external bleeding requires quick action as follows: To stop external bleeding: • locate where the blood is coming from • apply firm pressure where the blood is coming from, using whatever clean cloth is available, eg. an item of clothing, to make a pad • if possible tie the pad firmly in place • if possible, raise the injured area. This may reduce or help to stop the bleeding. In an emergency, when gloves are not available and you have to control bleeding: • ask the casualty to help by applying pressure or by placing a dressing or other clean dry cloth between your hands and the wound • Always give first aid care in ways which protect you and the casualty from disease transmission. • Use protective barriers (for example disposable gloves or face mask) which are appropriate to the emergency. • When gloves are not available and you have to control bleeding, ask the casualty to help you by applying pressure, or placing a dressing or other clean dry cloth beween your hand and the wound. • Wash your hands thoroughly as soon as possible after giving first aid. • Avoid touching or being splashed by body fluids where possible.

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TEST YOURSELF QUESTIONS
The questions you will find in this section are examples of the type of questions you will be asked. The actual test questions are not the ones asked in this handbook.
(The answers to Test Yourself Questions are upside down at the bottom of the next page).

Q1 In good conditions, a safe
following distance is: A at least 1 second behind the car in front B at least two seconds behind the car in front C at least two car lengths from the car in front

Q3 Driving can best be
described as: A an easy task that just about everyone can do B a task which most people can learn after a few lessons over several weeks C a complicated task

Q2 If the police stop you at a
random breath test station, you must take a breath test: A when you are asked to do so B only if you have been drinking C only if you have been speeding

Q4 Supervised learner drivers:
A are more at risk of being involved in a crash causing injury than probationary drivers B have the same risk of being involved in a crash causing injury as do probationary drivers C are amongst the safest drivers on the roads

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howsafeisyourcar. Q3 C.au or in the Australian New Car Assessment Program or the Used Car Safety Rating brochures. Q9 A .Q5 Are your responsibilities the same for a school crossing as for a pedestrian crossing? A Yes. Q6 B. Q2 A. it is best to take: A frequent drives with your supervising driver B the occasional long drive with your supervising driver C regular drives with you supervising driver. Q8 A. in both cases you may drive on after giving way to pedestrians B No. Q5 B. at a children’s crossing you must stop and remain stopped until the crossing is completely clear of pedestrians C No. at times when the traffic is light and it is not raining Q9 What is the best way to check the crashworthiness of a new or used car? A check cars safety rating at www.com. at a children’s crossing you have to give way only to children B looking quickly over your shoulder to look out the side windows C a place behind the driver that can’t be seen by using the mirrors Q8 The likelihood of a crash is almost halved after: A 6-8 months of solo driving experience B 1 year of solo driving experience C 2-3 years of solo driving experience Q7 To make the most of your learning when you have received your learners permit. Q7 A. Q4 C. B ask your parents or a friend C ask the person you’re buying the car from Q6 A headcheck is: A making eye contact with other road users so that you know they have seen you 159 Answers: Q1 B.

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vicroads. Ground Floor 60 Denmark Street Kew Vic 3101 Tel: (03) 9854 2049 and (03) 9854 2782 Fax: (03) 9854 2468 Email: bookshop@roads. products and strategies.vic. It also sells road safety education kits and books for students and prospective drivers. Monday to Friday 8. Tel: 13 11 70 Legislation The Road Safety Act and associated Regulations can be viewed at www.legislation.00pm Tel: 13 11 71 Victorian calls Tel: +61 3 9854 2666 Overseas calls Tel: 1300 652 321 If you have impaired hearing or speech.00pm Saturday 8.au VicRoads website VicRoads website provides information about VicRoads services.30am – 2. as well as information on road and vehicle safety and drink driving.vic. registering a vehicle or renewing vehicle registration.gov. and use a Telephone Typewriter (TTY) VicRoads Bookshop The Bookshop distributes information about obtaining and renewing a driver licence.vic.30am – 5. www. 161 .au VicRoads Traffic Control and Communication Centre This Centre provides information and assistance with: • emergency road conditions • freeway breakdowns • traffic accident reports • traffic light faults.Resources to help you VicRoads Telephone enquiries All registration and driver licence enquiries and test bookings.gov.Victoria can be viewed on VicRoads website.au The Road Rules .gov.

au 162 . Tel: 13 11 71 maxi maxi provides a fast electronic way to pay bills.VicRoads Road Safety. www. you can also obtain a Vehicle Securities Register certificate which provides legal protection against repossession.00pm Tel: 13 11 70 VicRoads Vehicle Securities Register If you are thinking about buying a second hand vehicle privately.30am – 5. Monday to Friday 8.maxi. you should contact the Vehicle Securities Register to check whether: • there is money owing on the vehicle. and • the vehicle is recorded as stolen. Traffic and Road Management Services For information and assistance with: • unsafe locations or stretches of road • road safety • current road rules.com. and get information 24 hours a day. access services. For a small fee.

you’ll need an e-TAG. To use Citylink.au Tel: 13 26 29 163 . reports.police. Call Citylink to arrange your e-TAG or Day Pass.information. 356 Collins Street Melbourne Vic 3000 Tel: 1300 366 356 www. or visit the website at www.vic.vic.gov. maps and specialist publications.gov. Day Pass or Tulla Pass.au Citylink Citylink is Melbourne’s fully electronic toll way.au Information Victoria Bookshop Retail sales of Government legislation. Tel: 03 9247 5779 www.transurban.com.Victoria Police For information and assistance with road law issues.

41. 126. 56. 15. 119 breakdowns 121 breath testing 70-71 F fairways 131 fatigue 55-56 fines 138. 123-124. 144. 121. 23. 110. 112. 144 full licence 21. 135 Give Way signs 81. 55-63. 132 dividing lines 86-88 driver eligibility 23 Drive Test 16-17 driving hours of 40-43. 54. 20. 135 horses see animals E emergency signals 121 emergency vehicles 132. 141. 135-137 Graduated Licensing System 22-24 C caravans 13. 156 see also child restraints Citylink 115-116. 121. medicines dual control 17 G Give Way rules 95-106. 68-71 blind spots 38. 148 country roads 77-78. 150 divided roads 103 164 . 112. 145. 72-74 see also alcohol and drugs. 114-116. 128. 36. instructor 17. 135 crashes 28. 123-127. 129.Index A accompanying driver 12. 23 child restraints 74-75 children 96. 69-70 responsibilities 151 risk reduction 59-63 cyclists 103. 108. 152 eyesight tests 10. 103. 135 assessment 23 automatic transmission 18. 133. 126. 15-16. 23. 40. 21. 92. 132 buses 125. 23 D demerit points 146-147 disabled persons 10. 23-24 horn 45. 127-128 H hazard lights 115. 23 B BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) 13. 138 hazard perception 37 see also potential hazard Hazard Perception Test 8. 23 built-up areas 76. log 12. 24 headchecks 30. 146 First Aid 152-157 following distance 61-62 freeways 77. 35. 38. 163 clearways 142-143 conditions 23-24 continuous period (learner permit) 13-14. 23 air and noise pollution 151 airbags 75 alcohol and drugs 54. drugs 53-54. 95-97. 122 high-beam 120 heavy vehicles 133-135 Help phones 152 high powered vehicles 20. 68-74 animals 78. 132. 105 headlight range 63 headlights 120. 135 bookings learner permit 8-9 licence 13-14 brakes and braking 44-45. 98. 39.

145 tram 136 licence 9-14. 127. 72-74 merging 105. 110-111 crossings 85. 120 R railway level crossings see level crossings restraint fitting stations 75 reversing 47 road markings 86-92 road rage 117 road work signs 85 roundabouts 102-103. 150 medicines 54. 132. 89. 134 safety zones 125-126 scanning 39. 116. 136-137. 148-149. 62. 132 potential hazard 16 power nap 56 probationary licence 13-21. 145 interstate licence 5 infringements court 147 learner permit 5. 21-24. 129-131 transit 89-90 language options 8. 143 changing 30. 45-47. 63. 17. N name change 11. 14. 23. 118. 21 L L plates 12. 17.128 police 71. 8-13. 123-126. 21 M median strip 103 medical illness/disability 10. 55 school speed zones 77 165 . see also zip merging S safety margin 60-62. 119-122 interpreters 21 intersections 81-83. 146-148 legal responsibilities 149157 level crossings railway 84.118 overhead 89 tram 89-90. 148 pedestrians 37. 15. 134-135 K keeping to the left 118 P P plates 17. 114. 105. 54 motorcyclists 13. 112-113. 23-24 parking 138-145 disabled 141 meter 140-141 signs 140-144 passenger restriction 18. 45. 23-24. 118. 38-39. 93-99. 149-150 night driving 27. 138 head 120 high beam 120 rear fog 121 tail 120 traffic see traffic lights mirrors 30. 146-149 photographs 12. rules and regulations 65-157 O overtaking 87-88. 129. 121-123. 124 penalties 20. 96-97. 133-134 mobile phones 23-24. 121. 149-150 imprisonment (jail) 146-147 indicators 30. 56. 146-147 licence (steps) 7 lights brake 119 flashing 134 hazard 115. 23-24.I identity (evidence of) 10-11.145 signals 95. 23-24 lanes 88-90 bicycle 89-90 bus 89. 106.

118 hook 108-109 left 107-108. 118 166 . 74-76 shared zones 77. 42-43. 142 TTY (Telephone Typewriter) 8. 136-137 roadworks 85 roundabouts 102 speed 76-77. 39-40. 97 tow away 143-144 truck 134-135 warning 82-85 zones 142-145 skidding 45. 62-63. 107 special purpose lanes 89-90 speed 55 speed control 46-47. 92. 95. 124 trailers 13.seat belts 57. 97. 147 signalling see indicators signs 80-86. 144-145 distance 78 supervising drivers 14. 104. 33. 108. 83. 59-60. 17. 110-111. 113. 92. 23-24 tram level crossings see level crossings Z zero BAC see BAC zip merging 105 U U-turns 97. 143 test learner permit 8-12 licence 13-17 test yourself questions 158-159 Three point turn 112 T-intersections 83. 63. 102. 35. 129-131 transit lanes 90 trucks 23-24. 118 roundabout 112. 84 stop 81. 95. 100-101 tiredness see fatigue tollways 115 traffic islands 91. 140-144 advisory 84 clearway 142-143 direction 86 give way 81. 37. 118 right 107. 99. 137 intersections 81-83 railway level crossings 84. 97 Sheriff’s Office 146. 79 T tail lights 120 taxis 70. 110112. 125-126. 145 traffic lane arrows 91 traffic lights 93-95. 133-135. 104. 118 U-turn 97. 79 slip lanes 96-97. 63 tram lights 94 tram stops 125-126 trams 97. 92. 118 tyres 45. 57 V vehicles (definition) 98 vision impaired 127 W weather conditions 27. 106-113. 161 Tunnel 115-116 turns and turning 104. 114 speed limits 76 stopping 138.

VicRoads Customer Service Centres METROPOLITAN CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTRES BROADMEADOWS Cnr Pearcedale Parade and Johnstone Street Broadmeadows 3047 BUNDOORA 8 Graduate Road University Hill Bundoora 3083 BURWOOD EAST 12 Lakeside Drive Burwood East 3151 CAMBERWELL 3 Prospect Hill Road Camberwell 3124 CARLTON 459 Lygon Street Carlton 3053 DANDENONG 72-74 Greens Road Dandenong South 3175 DROMANA Shop 11 Dromana Central 143 Point Nepean Rd Dromana 3936 FRANKSTON 71 Hartnett Drive Seaford 3198 HOPPERS CROSSING 52–64 Old Geelong Rd (Spotlight Centre) Hoppers Crossing 3029 MELTON 267 High Street Melton 3337 OAKLEIGH SOUTH 1 Eskay Road South Oakleigh 3167 SUNBURY 7/36 Macedon Street Sunbury 3429 SUNSHINE 499 Ballarat Road Sunshine 3020 COUNTRY CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTRES ARARAT Shop 2 56 High Street Ararat 3377 BAIRNSDALE 535 Princes Highway Bairnsdale 3875 BALLARAT 88 Learmonth Road Wendouree 3355 BENALLA 50-52 Clarke Street Benalla 3672 BENDIGO 57 Lansell Street Bendigo 3550 COBRAM Shire Offices 44 Station Street Cobram 3644 COLAC Princes Hwy Colac West 3250 ECHUCA 5 Mundarra Road Echuca 3564 GEELONG Fyans Street Geelong South 3220 HAMILTON Riley Street Hamilton 3300 HORSHAM 14 O’Callaghans Pde Horsham 3400 KYNETON 2 Beauchamp Street Kyneton 3444 LEONGATHA Anderson Street Leongatha 3953 MARYBOROUGH Shire Offices Neill Street Maryborough 3465 MILDURA 109–111 Orange Ave Mildura 3500 MORWELL Princes Drive Morwell 3840 PORTLAND 114a Percy Street Portland 3305 SALE 28 Princes Highway Sale 3850 SEYMOUR 5 Crawford Street Seymour 3660 SHEPPARTON 231-239 Corio Street Shepparton 3630 SWAN HILL 70 Nyah Road Swan Hill 3585 WANGARATTA 62-68 Ovens Street Wangaratta 3677 WARRAGUL Unit 5 131 North Road Warragul 3820 WARRNAMBOOL 29 Jamieson Street Warrnambool 3280 WODONGA 82-86 Elgin Boulevard Wodonga 3690 ALL TELEPHONE ENQUIRIES 13 1171 8.00pm Friday .00pm Saturday Customer Service Centre Trading Hours 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 2.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.

05.08 .au VRPIN00568.VicRoads Publication Number 00568/12 www.vic.gov.vicroads.

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