Wednesday, June 08, 2005

P Plater Restrictions

As some one who has not yet got my licence (because I'm slack!) it is important to me to know what I will have to do to get it. Now it is looking important for me to get it before the new laws are passed. It is a pretty simple process at the moment but due to the percentage of P platers who are involved in fatal crashes on the roads of Australia, it will soon be a lot harder to get a licence.

For me to get my licence at the moment, I would have to go to any Licencing Centre and sit a written multiple choice test (which costs me $50 I might add). The quiz consists of 30 questions and I think it is only 3 or 4 questions you are allowed to get wrong before you fail. A learner's quiz is available to take online here. (It is not official, you still have to go into a Licencing Centre, unfortunately)

If the written test is passed then it is on to the next test, an eye test. If I had to wear glasses to pass the eye test, then it must be displayed on my Learners Permit that I must wear my glasses when driving at all times. I must also declare any medical factors or medication which may affect my driving, then it is up to the Customer Services Officer to decide whether I need to undergo a Medical Test as well. If not, then I am given my Learners Permit and am allowed to drive as a Learner.

Learners are not allowed to drive by themselves, but with a person who has had their licence for four or more years in the same catagory as that displayed on the Learners Permit. They must display L Plates on both the front and back of the vehicle. These L Plates must have an L in black and a yellow background and must be 150cm x 150cm. Learners are not allowed to exceed a speed of 100km/hr and are not allowed on any of the freeways or in the boundries of Kings Park. (I must note that this is Western Australian rules.)

Once I am confident enough, then I would go back to the Licencing Centre and take my Practical Driving Test. This test must be booked beforehand and costs $50 (payable even if test is cancelled). I would be made to perform a series of driving skills in the company of a driving instructor. It is unusual to pass this test first time, though I do know people who beat the odds.

Next, I must accumulate 25hrs of driving skill, recorded in a Log Book. The person accompanying me must sign the diary to confirm what the Log Book says. (It is common to lie during this period, most people I know have done about half the amount of time they are suposed to.) Once I have the 25hrs, I can go back to the Licencing Centre and complete the Hazard Perception Test after which I would be granted my P Plates.

Now all that may not seem like much, and indeed, a lot of shortcuts are available to young people wanting their licnces, but our government is making it a hell of a lot harder for us.

The Propositions:

  • They want us to have our L Plates for a minimum of 6 months
  • The hours will be upped to 125 hrs in the Log Book before being able to take the Hazard Test
  • P Platers get 4 demerit points insted of the current 12
  • P Platers will only be allowed a certain amount of people in the car with them on their first year of driving.
  • P Platers will have a night-time curfew.
  • P Platers will not be allowed to drive cars with eight or more cylinders.

It is understandable to take another look into youth driving but some of these are ridiculus. As a young person working a crap job, I have to say that 125hrs is a lot of time and money. If you have no one to teach you to drive, then lessons can be anywhere from $20-$50 an hour! How can our youth be expected to afford that?!? My parents arent going to pay for it and I sure can't afford it. It would take me a year to get my P's and that's how long I have before my L's run out. Some of these need to be rethought.

However, some of these points have good reasons to be instilled. Just yesterday, a 25 year-old P Plater was pulled over four times in as many hours for speeding. On the first incident, he was clocked at 156km/hr in a 100km/hr zone. Because of the long weekend, ie. double demerits, he lost 12 demerit points straight away, which would mean his licence. The man was driving a supercharged Holden Commodore in wet conditions and police said he was lucky not to have caused an accident.

New figures show that drivers under 26 account for 15% of licences but are involved in 36% of all fatal crashes. A P Plate driver is killed every 6 days in Western Australia.


Blogger Patrick said...

I am in USA. What is a P-plater?

thank you

8:54 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


When we first get our licewnce here in Aust. we are on P (probation) plates for the first 2 years. Just means that we have more restrictions as a driver. Once the 2 years is over we have are considered experienced enough to have a full licence. Hope that helps!

12:56 pm  
Blogger Patrick said...

Yes thank you. Almost seems like a good idea.

1:07 pm  
Blogger Gee Oh! said...

it really is, of course it does suck when you are the P Plater tho, and they are making it harder and harder to get a licence. which again i spose is a good thing, less dickheads on the roads....

1:09 pm  
Blogger Patrick said...

So it is a different plate on the car?

1:14 pm  
Blogger Gee Oh! said...

Its not a number plate, its a 15cmX15cm white card with a red P (these have just changed tho) and they are to be displayed on your back and front windows

1:34 pm  
Blogger Patrick said...

thank you driver has to display the "P" card/plater when operating a motor vehicle. Thanks agian from sunny Florida USA

1:49 pm  
Blogger Patrick said...

cool bird

1:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey, can you tell me, what sort of mods are you not allowed on a car as a p-plater?

8:05 pm  
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