An enhanced practical driving test (also known as Q-SAFE) has now been introduced across Queensland. The aim is to ensure learner drivers develop the necessary skills to become safer drivers. These new tests will apply to practical tests for trucks, as well as cars and motorcycles.
These changes aim to put more emphasis on high-risk manoeuvres and safer driving skills such as:
Zero tolerance to speeding
- A critical driving error, i.e. instant fail, will apply for any level of speeding, reflecting the fact that it is against the law to speed over the posted speed limit in any circumstances.
Crash avoidance space
- It is imperative that you maintain an appropriate following distance and display appropriate hazard perception. The new specific repeat driving error for both criteria will result in a fail if a person commits the same error 4 times.
High speed merging
- Always a factor for heavy vehicle tests, this will be Introduced across all testing. Highly desirable driving situations such as high speed merging will be assessed if the infrastructure and/or traffic conditions are available. Alternatively, a left or right turn from a side road into a higher speed road is recommended.
Reduction in reversing manoeuvres
- Reducing the minimum number of manoeuvres required to be assessed from 3 to 2. The current selection of manoeuvres will be retained, for example, U-turn, hill start, reversing exercise and Reverse Park – 1 of the manoeuvres chosen to perform must have a reversing component.
A minimum number of right and left turns to be completed
- Ensuring that the minimum number of right and left turns that must be completed at certain intersection types is upheld – this includes T-section and cross road intersections.
The new Q-SAFE test framework also places a greater emphasis on the driving examiners, as they are required to provide meaningful feedback to the candidate at the end of the test to ensure the candidate is aware of the elements he or she must improve.