Episode 1 Transcript


VICROADS TESTING OFFICER: Welcome to “Lessons from the road”. This video will provide you with some important information about Victoria’s licensing system, as well as advice and tips from parents who have been through the process of supervising learner drivers.

BELINDA CRAIG: It’s important to give clear instructions and not criticise them too much while they’re in the middle of driving.

JAMES BRADLEY: You’ve got to give them all the experience you can. Once they’re on their Ps, they’re on their own.

ANDY LEE: It can be very easy to say “not today, I’m busy”. But you have to be disciplined and keep clocking up those practice hours.

JACQUELINE CRAIG: If you’re a parent, caaaaalm dooooown. Seriously. It’s soooo much easier to learn without someone screaming at you from the passenger seat.

VICROADS TESTING OFFICER: The video is divided into eight episodes. You can watch it from start to finish, skip forward to an episode that interests you, or return to an earlier episode at any time. Let’s get started.

VICROADS TESTING OFFICER: In Victoria we have what's called a Graduated Licensing System. The aim is to make younger drivers, safer drivers.

VICROADS TESTING OFFICER: Think of it as an apprenticeship system where young drivers must gain at least 120 hours of low risk driving experience under different conditions before graduating to a probationary licence.

VICROADS TESTING OFFICER: This approach works. What is important for safety is the total amount and variety of on-road experience. As parents you play a critical role in helping your child become a safer driver by supervising their practice.

JAMES BRADLEY: Supervising them isn’t always easy. But once they’ve got their licence and they’re driving around without you …well, you’ll be glad you put in the extra effort.

VICROADS TESTING OFFICER: Reading the Guide for Supervising drivers that comes with your Learner Log Book is a great start.

JAMES BRADLEY: You've got to start with the basics and only introduce them to new skills when they're ready. Otherwise it's just more than they can handle.

BELINDA CRAIG: You can’t rush it. It’s not a race. Jacqui started at a snail’s pace but as soon as she was ready she was driving along highways and turning at busy intersections.

SFX: Car indicator.

VICROADS TESTING OFFICER: Through this gradual process, the learner develops safe driving habits. Choosing the correct speed, judging gaps in traffic, spotting hazards on the road – these are the sorts of skills they'll gain with regular practice.

VICROADS TESTING OFFICER: There are a few safeguards in place. The learner has to be over 16 and the supervising driver has to be fully licensed and over 21 years of age – not a friend or sibling on P plates.

LU LEE: I got my learners a few weeks after my 16th birthday.

ANDY LEE: Late September I recall.

LU LEE: I've got an older brother but he’s not allowed to supervise me.

ANDY LEE: My eldest, Tai. He's still on his P plates.

VICROADS TESTING OFFICER: The learner has to have zero blood alcohol and the supervising driver has to be below .05. In addition, learners can't use mobile phones for any purpose while driving. That means no calling, no sending and no reading texts. The learner and supervisor should turn their phones TO SILENT while driving or leave it at home.

BELINDA CRAIG: (Laughs.) That was one thing she had trouble giving up! Her phone. I made sure we left it at home so it wouldn't distract her.

VICROADS TESTING OFFICER: Learning to drive takes longer than most people think…

VICROADS TESTING OFFICER: To get their probationary licence when they turn 18 and before they turn 21, learners need to have their permit for at least 12 months… …and they need to clock up at least 120 hours of driving experience in a broad range of conditions… …including 10 hours at night.

LU LEE: I got my learners at 16, but I have to wait till I'm 18 to take the test...that's a whole two months away!

ANDY LEE: We'll see if you’re ready. I think that's sensible. I don’t think it hurts to get more than 120 hours if you can.

VICROADS TESTING OFFICER: Before they can take an on-road test, learners have to record their minimum 120 hours in their official VicRoads Learner Log Book.

VICROADS TESTING OFFICER: The Log Book must be completed properly, following the instructions in the front. If the Log Book is found to be incorrect then the booking and test fees are lost, the learner may not be able to sit the Drive Test and may have to wait six weeks before attempting to take the test again. The Log Book is a crucial part of the process.

JAMES BRADLEY: I’m a chippy, so I've got to keep my own vehicle log for my tax. When Tim started learning, I just told him to keep his Learner Log Book in the glove box next to mine and he filled it in at the end of each trip. Then I’d sign it. It's a good habit to get into.

TIM BRADLEY: It was a bit of a hassle but it only took a few minutes. Helps you figure out where you've been, what practice you've done, what you’ve still got to do, that sort of thing.

VICROADS TESTING OFFICER: There can be heavy penalties for learners and supervising drivers caught cheating by adding extra hours in the Log Book. Just remember, fraudulent entries in the Log Book mean the learner is cheating themselves and increasing their crash risk once driving on their own.

VICROADS TESTING OFFICER: Remember these key points: Victoria has a Graduated Licensing System with a step-by-step approach to learning to drive. Learners need at least 120 hours of driving experience in a broad range of conditions, including 10 hours at night, before they can take the on-road test, and they need to complete their log books accurately.

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