Featured artist: Shannon Crees

For drivers

Featured artist: Shannon Crees
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For drivers

Getting your licence

The NSW licensing system has been designed to help novice drivers and riders obtain their licenses by gradually building their knowledge and skills. It is based on a structured approach to road driving/ riding practice and experience.

Young drivers need to practice in a wide range of different driving situations in order to develop the skills and experience that will keep them safe.

For more details visit the Roads & Maritime Services website.

There are seven steps you'll need complete to progress from a car learner licence to a full licence. The seven steps are:

Step NumberStepDetails
1

Pass the Driver Knowledge Test (DKT); get your learner licence

This is a computer based test at the Motor Registry. It tests your knowledge of the road rules as set out in the Road Users Handbook.

2

Hold your learner licence at least twelve months for drivers under the age of 25

Complete a minimum of 120 hours supervised driving practice, which must be recorded in the log book.

Try to obtain driving experience in all the kinds of driving conditions that you will eventually have encounter once you are licensed. These should include different weather, times of the day and the week, light and heavy traffic etc. The more and varied supervised driving practice a young driver has, the better.

3

Pass the Driving Ability Road Test (DART)

This is the practical test of your ability to drive. When you pass the test, you can progress to a Provisional Licence - stage 1 (P1 licence).

4

Hold your P1 licence for a minimum of 12 months

At this stage you are provisionally licensed. This does not mean that you are a fully qualified driver; it only means that you are sufficiently competent to be allowed to drive unsupervised.

5

Pass the Hazard Perception Test

This is a computer based test at the Motor Registry. When you pass this test you can progress to Provisional Licence - stage 2 (P2 licence).

6

Hold your P2 licence for a minimum of 24 months

The P2 period is when you will finally be developing the more complex cognitive driving skills. Research indicates that new drivers take two to three years to achieve this level.

7

Pass the Driver Qualification Test (DQT)

This is a computer based test at the Motor Registry. When you pass this test you progress to a full licence.

Keeping young drivers safe

Marrickville Council is funded by Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) to provide free workshops for parents and supervisors of learner drivers. The workshops offer practical advice on how to help learner drivers become safer drivers.

The course covers topics such as how to use the Learner Driver Log Book, how to plan driving sessions, teaching teenagers and the importance of giving the learner constructive feedback.

For further information regarding workshops being conducted in your area call Marrickville Council's Road Safety Officer on 02 9392 5000. Alternatively, contact the RMS on telephone 13 22 13.

Tips on buying a safe car

Modern cars have many wonderful safety features than can protect you in a crash, but not all cars have these features.

Which cars are safest in a crash? What is electronic stability control? Do airbags really make a difference? Can ABS (Anti skid brakes), really prevent crashes? Which car should you buy? What is a good car for a young driver to use?

The Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) gives consumers consistent information on the level of occupant protection provided by vehicles in serious front and side crashes. Visit the NSW Centre for Road Safety website for more information.

Buying a used car? Check the safety ratings for the models you are interested in.

What parking signs mean

Parking restrictions are put in place for road safety reasons or traffic flow reasons; for example to give drivers a clearer view around pedestrian crossings, intersections and schools. They are also designed to allow drivers and other road users to share road side parking equitably in busy areas (e.g. outside shops and in cities and towns).

No Stopping signs

You must not stop on a length of road to which a No Stopping sign applies.

Where times of operation are shown on the sign, the sign only applies at those times.

Some No Stopping signs may have exceptions. In these cases nominated persons or vehicles are excepted from the signs restrictions.

No Stopping lines

You must not stop at the side of a road marked with a continuous yellow edge line.

No Parking signs

You must not stop on a length of road to which a No Parking sign applies unless you are dropping off, or picking up, passengers or goods. You must not leave the vehicle unattended (i.e. be more than 3 metres from the closest point of the vehicle) and you must complete the dropping off or picking up of passengers or goods within 2 minutes after stopping.

Where times of operation are shown on the sign, the sign only applies at those times.

Some No Parking signs may have exceptions. In these cases nominated persons or vehicles are exempted from the signs restrictions.

Clearways

You must not stop on a length of road marked with "Clearway" signage or markings (a broken yellow edge line) unless you are driving a public bus or taxi.

Where times of operation are shown on the sign, the sign only applies at those times.

Bus Zones

You must not stop or park in a bus zone unless you are driving a public bus (except a public bus of a kind that is not permitted to stop in the bus zone by information on or with the Bus Zone sign applying to the bus zone) which is actually engaged in taking up or setting down passengers or is stopping for the purpose of a regular passenger service. Where times of operation are shown on the sign, the sign only applies at those times.

Taxi Zones

You must not stop or park in a taxi zone unless you are driving a taxi (including a private hire vehicle). Where times of operation are shown on the sign, the sign only applies at those times.

Mail Zone signs

You must not stop in a mail zone unless your vehicle is a postal vehicle. Where times of operation are shown on the sign, the sign only applies at those times.

Bicycle Lane, Bus Lane & Transit Lane signs

You must not stop or park in a bicycle lane, bus lane or transit lane unless you are driving a public bus, taxi or private hire vehicle and are dropping off or picking up passengers.
Where times of operation are shown on the sign, the sign only applies at those times.

If your vehicle is left in a bus lane or transit lane it may be towed away to a nearby street where it may lawfully stand. When the wheelchair logo appears on a sign as shown, this means that only vehicles displaying a valid Mobility Parking Scheme Authority issued by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) may park on that length of road or in the parking space indicated by the sign or signs.

Bus Only Lane signs

Lanes specifically marked 'Bus Only' differ from regular bus lanes. They are for the exclusive use of buses, and no other vehicles are permitted to use these lanes. Intersections incorporating a 'Bus Only' lane usually display a "B" on the traffic signals to give buses priority over general traffic.

Driving too fast for the conditions

All roads in Marrickville are zoned 50 km/h unless they are signposted differently. The 50 km/h default speed limit applies to all built-up areas across NSW.

If you are travelling on a road that does not have any sign posted speed limit, then assume it is a 50 km zone. If you turn off a road signposted at 60 km/h or higher, the 50 km/h default limit applies as soon as you turn off that road on to any road without a speed sign. Reduced speed limits at school zones, road works and other special areas still apply.

The 50 km/h default urban limit is part of a nationwide strategy to reduce the incidence of injury and death due to motor vehicle crashes. International and Australian research shows that even small reductions in vehicle speed can reduce both the number of deaths and the severity of injuries resulting from road crashes.

A car travelling at 50 km/h has a stopping distance 10m shorter than a car travelling at 60 km/h. In residential areas this is a significant difference – enough to save a life or avoid serious injury if a child suddenly runs onto the road or a vehicle unexpectedly reverses out of a driveway.

A 50 km/h speed limit on residential streets has been shown to have little impact on travel times in built-up areas.

Speeding increases the risk of a crash because you have less time to react should something unexpected happen.

A key issue in speeding-related crashes is the fact that most motorists underestimate the distance needed to stop. A car travelling at 60 km/h in dry conditions takes about 38 metres to stop. A car travelling at 72 km/h needs an extra 12 metres.

If you do have a crash, it is likely to be more severe because the higher your speed, the greater the force of the crash impact.

Driving while affected by drugs or alcohol

Alcohol and other drugs affect your judgment, concentration and reactions. It is unlawful and socially irresponsible to drive while affected.

The introduction of random breath testing in 1982 had an immediate effect, with a 23% reduction in the number of road deaths that year. Since that time community attitudes to drink driving have changed, significantly reducing the number of alcohol-related road deaths.

Alcohol is a drug that affects your skills, moods and behaviour. Once it has been consumed the effects of alcohol on driving cannot be reversed; the only thing that will sober you up is time.

Any amount of alcohol increases risk. As a driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) rises, so does the risk of being involved in a crash.

  • 0.05 = double the risk
  • 0.08 = 7 times the risk
  • 0.15 = 25 times the risk

Novice drivers with any level of alcohol in their blood are at a much higher risk of crashing. This is why novice drivers are restricted to a zero alcohol limit.

For more information visit the NSW Centre for Road Safety website.

Driving while tired or sick

Fatigue is a general term commonly used to describe the experience of being "sleepy", "tired" or "exhausted".

People tend to think that fatigue only affects drivers after they have been driving for a long time. But your driving can be affected by fatigue if you drive when you are tired or sick, or if you drive at a time of day when you would normally be asleep.

Fatigue can severely affect your judgment and reactions when you are driving. It is particularly dangerous because one of the symptoms is decreased ability to judge our own level of tiredness.

For more information visit the NSW Centre for Road Safety website.

Mobile phones and driver distraction

It is illegal in NSW to send or receive text messages, play games or take photos with a hand held device while driving or stopped but not parked; for example when you are waiting at traffic lights. It is also illegal to use a hands-free phone while driving if it causes you to lose proper control of your vehicle.

For further information on mobile phones and driving refer to the NSW Centre for Road Safety website.

Most of us know that it is illegal to drive while using a hand-held mobile phone – but how many people really believe that it is also very dangerous?

Research conducted by Marrickville Council in conjunction with the City of Sydney found that more than 1 in 5 drivers living in the Marrickville and City of Sydney areas admitted to using their mobile phone while driving. This was despite almost half of those surveyed having witnessed or experienced a near-miss accident due to another driver being distracted.

Other Australian research has found that using a hand held mobile phone while driving increased the risk of having a crash by 4.9 times.

The researchers also found that a hands-free phone is not very much safer. They found that a hands-free phone increased the risk of a crash by 3.8 times. The research showed that even with a hands-free phone, the risk is increased because the driver's attention is split between the road and their conversation.

The risk increases with hand held phones due to the amount of time the user’s eyes are taken away from the road.

For further information go to the George Institute of International Health
http://www.thegeorgeinstitute.org/iih/research/injury-&-musculoskeletal/injury-prevention/studies/road-traffic-injury/driver-distraction-and-road-crashes.cfm