The Kritic

NSW Drivers Licence

Mother of DragonsSource: Eileen Ormsby #

According to an article by VicRoads[1] new drink driving laws were introduced to Victoria’s Parliament last week. If they are passed by Parliament the new laws will see every driver over 0.05 have their licences cancelled immediately and disqualified from driving for three months. The driver will be required to have an alcohol interlock fitted to their vehicle for six months and will have to complete a new behaviour change program before being re-licenced.

Some Victorians, and those visiting from elsewhere, will consider this harsh but if looked at objectively it makes complete sense. Especially when taking in the fact that every year in Victoria up to 3,000 full licence holders are caught drink-driving with a blood alcohol content between 0.05 and 0.07. Obviously the “Don’t Drink and Drive” message is just not working.

Other reasons for disqualification

Outside of the offence of drink-driving, in each state there are numerous ways that you can incur a disqualification from driving. These vary from state to state and can include such things as:

  • Dangerous driving.
  • A criminal offence involving the driving or use of a motor vehicle.
  • A combination of traffic offences arising out of the same incident.
  • Any offence committed by the licence holder who has previously been disqualified.

Interesting Fact

In South Australia you can be disqualified from from driving if you are convicted in court of a graffiti related offence.

 

Disqualification from driving can be for periods of 3 months to 24 months and in some cases even longer. What happens at the end of that period is the focus of this post.

In Queensland[2] if you are disqualified from holding a driver licence and have served the period of disqualification you will be issued with a probationary licence. This probationary licence will be in force for at least 1 year and will require you to have a zero blood alcohol concentration when driving and carry your licence at all time when driving.

The Tasmanian[3] Registrar of Motor Vehicles will write to Tasmanians 28 days before the end of the disqualification period to let them know if they are required to undertake a Road Rules knowledge test, undertake a practical driving assessment, undertake a medical assessment or provide a letter showing cause as to why you should hold a driver licence. The Registrar may also impose conditions on how, when and where they can drive. They will be advised in writing if any conditions have been imposed upon their licence. Certain conditions may be:

  • times when you can drive
  • where you can drive
  • the maximum number of demerit points allowed
  • a zero blood-alcohol limit
  • restricted to driving for set purpose only such as employment or education

In South Australia[4] probationary licences are granted whenever a person applies for the issue of a driver’s licence following a period of disqualification which resulted in the cancellation of their licence. A period of 12 months or, if the court orders, a longer period applies to probationary licences.

New South Wales[5], Western Australia[6] and the Northern Territory[7] only require that you complete a renewal application form.

Another Interesting Fact

In all states of Australia your licence can be suspended if you fail to pay a fine, even non-traffic fines.

 

Queensland and South Australia have a mandatory probationary period after the disqualification period has been completed, which goes a long way to help with recidivism. But is that enough? Should it be harder to get your licence back after disqualification? Surely it can be said that if you have lost your licence you either didn’t learn the rules properly in the first place or you have deliberately flouted them.

So what do we do?

The Kritic’s proposal, for all states and territories, is one where the disqualified driver goes through several steps covering knowledge, ability and experience. One of the steps is the successful application for what I’m calling a “P3 licence”, or Blue P’s. So what are these proposed steps in order to get your full licence back after disqualification?

  1. Pass the Driver Knowledge Test.
  2. Pass the Hazard Perception Test.
  3. Pass the Driving Test.
  4. Prove your identity.
  5. Pass an Eyesight Test.
  6. Pay the P3 Licence and test fees.
  7. Hold the P3 Licence for at least 12 months.
  8. Pass the Driver Qualification Test(DQT).
  9. Pay the Full Driver Licence and DQT fees.
  10. Graduate to the Full Driver Licence.

Conditions of a P3 Licence

A P3 licence holder must:

  • Not use mobile phone by any means, including hands free, Bluetooth or Car stereo while driving or stationary (except being parked).
  • Have P plates displayed (blue P on a white background) clearly on the outside of the front and back of the vehicle. The letter P on the plate must not be hidden. If you’re towing a trailer, a P plate must be on the back of the trailer.
  • Observe a maximum speed limit of 100 km/h, and observe the posted speed limit where it’s below 100 km/h
  • Not exceed zero blood alcohol concentration.
  • Not drive under the influence of drugs.
  • Not supervise a learner driver.
  • Not exceed 7 Demerit Points.

Demerit points

Seven (7) Demerit Points apply to P3 drivers. A P3 licence will be cancelled upon accumulation of 7 Demerit Points and a disqualification period of 12 months will apply.

Speeding offences

If a P3 driver commits any speeding offence they’ll receive a minimum of 4 demerit points. A P3 licence will be cancelled for any excessive speed offence (more than 30km/h over the speed limit) and a disqualification period of 12 months will apply.

Progressing to a full licence

Once a P3 licence has been held for at least 12 months a driver becomes eligible to progress to a full licence. On application for a full driver licence you must pass a Driver Qualification Test. This is a computer based test to confirm that drivers have sufficient knowledge and hazard perception skills to “graduate” to a full driver licence.

There are two parts to the Driver Qualification Test:

  • Part 1 is the Driver Knowledge Test that assesses knowledge of road rules.
  • Part 2 is the Hazard Perception Test that assess ability to recognise hazards and respond appropriately.

Let me know your thoughts on the matter in the comments below.

[1] VicRoads – Tougher Penalties to Keep Victorians Safe on our Roads
[2] https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Licensing/Licence-suspensions-and-disqualifications/Probationary-and-restricted-licences
[3] http://www.transport.tas.gov.au/licensing/offences/getting_a_licence_back
[4] http://www.lawhandbook.sa.gov.au/ch12s06s01s06.php
[5] http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/safety-rules/demerits-offences/suspension-disqualification/reforms.html
[6] https://www.transport.wa.gov.au/licensing/drivers-licence-application-after-cancellation.asp
[7] https://nt.gov.au/driving/licences/renew-your-driver-licence

# Eileen Ormsby – An identity crisis on the darkweb

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Comments

  1. Karen said:
    10 November 12:57 pm

    I think I’ve only ever had one ticket so this would probably never apply to me but I think what you are proposing seems like a better system than what is currently in place.

  2. Charles said:
    10 November 3:52 pm

    The whole “knowledge, ability and experience” approach appeals to me. I think this would be a fair solution for everyone, both the offender and other road users.

  3. Andrew F said:
    10 November 4:18 pm

    I think the approach that you suggests strikes a balance between punishment, deterrence and re-education.

  4. Robbo said:
    10 November 4:22 pm

    How ridiculous! The disqualification is punishment enough. Why inflict more pain on a person that is down on their luck?