Drive responsibly and driving rules

Driving in traffic is more than just knowing how to operate the mechanisms which control the vehicle; it requires knowing how to apply the rules of the road (which govern safe and efficient sharing with other users). An effective driver also has an intuitive understanding of the basics of vehicle handling and can drive responsibly.

A driver is subject to the laws of the jurisdiction in which he or she is driving. Most countries also have differing laws against driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs..Motorists are almost universally required to take lessons with an approved instructor and to pass a driving test before being granted a license. Almost all countries allow all adults with good vision and health to apply to take a driving test and, if successful, to drive on public roads.

A driving test (also known as a driving exam, driver’s test, or road test) is a procedure designed to test a person’s ability to drive amotor vehicle. It exists in various forms worldwide, and is often a requirement to obtain a driver’s license. A driving test generally consists of one or two parts: the practical test, called a road test, used to assess a person’s driving ability under normal operating conditions, and/or a written or oral test (theory test) to confirm a person’s knowledge of driving and relevant rules and laws.To make the test fair, written driving tests are normally standardized tests, meaning that everyone takes the same test under the same conditions. In many places the test can be done by computer, and typically consists of questions related to road signs and traffic laws of the respective country, but may also include questions related to road safety best practices or technical questions regarding vehicle operation and maintenance. In many countries passing a written driving test is required for admission to the practical test.

Depending on the country and on the driver’s license category, the practical test includes driving on the public, open road as well as different maneuverability test, which are usually carried out in a controlled environment such as:driving back and forth through a set of traffic cones reversing around a corner or into a parking space, with or without a trailer or semi-trailer emergency stops or evasive maneuvers coupling and de-coupling of a trailer to a truck, which includes establishing the electrical and compressed-air connections and checking them maintaining a motorcycle stable at low speed Make sure your children know the road rules when they are using a skateboard or scooter or similar device with wheels. This means they are in the best position to prevent any injury to themselves or to others. www.darshandrivingschool.com.au

Eligibility to qualify for a Victorian driver licence

The requirement to change your overseas driver licence to a Victorian driver licence depends on whether your stay in Victoria is temporary or permanent.

If you are in Victoria on a temporary visa, you can drive on your overseas driver licence for as long as it is current providing it is in English or accompanied by an English translation or International Driving Permit. There is no requirement to get a Victorian driver licence.

If you have entered Victoria on a permanent visa issued under the Migration Act 1958, you may drive on your overseas driver licence for:

  • six months from the date you first entered Australia if the permanent visa was issued before you entered Australia; or,
  • six months from the date when the permanent visa was issued to you if the permanent visa was issued to you whilst in Australia.

If you want to continue driving in Victoria after this time you must change your overseas licence to a Victorian driver licence.

New Zealand residents who hold a current licence are treated as interstate drivers.

Eligibility to qualify for a Victorian licence
Victorian full driver licence
To obtain a Victorian full driver licence you must:

  • be 21 years of age or older; and
  • hold an overseas full driver licence; or
  • have held an overseas probationary driver licence for at least three years from your 18th birthday (you must provide evidence).

Your overseas driver licence must be current or not expired by more than five years. Any period where you have been suspended or disqualified from driving is excluded when calculating the period of time you have held a licence.

Victorian probationary driver licence
To obtain a Victorian probationary driver licence you must be at least 18 years of age. No exemptions apply.

An appropriate probationary period (P1 or P2) will apply, depending on your age and the amount of time your overseas driver licence has been held (you must provide evidence). Any period where you have been suspended of disqualified from driving is excluded when calculating the period of time you have held a licence.

You will be issued with a P1 probationary driver licence if you are under 21 years of age and have held an overseas driver licence for less than 12 months from your 18th birthday.

    You will be issued with a P2 driver licence if you:

  • are under 21 years of age and have held a driver licence for more than 12 months; or
  • are 21 years of age or older and have held a driver licence for less than three years.

Victorian learner permit
You must be at least 16 years of age to obtain a Victorian learner permit (at least 18 years for a motorcycle). No age exemptions apply.

serious errors Driving test

Collision 
Crashing into another vehicle or road user (eg. pedestrian or bicyclist) will immediately end your test and you will fail.  Even a small collision is a sign that you need to develop more safety-related skills before driving on your own.
Mounting the kerb
Hitting or running into the kerb or footpath is a serious safety issue. It puts pedestrians and other road users at risk and is a sign that you do not have safe control of the car. This will immediately end your test and you will fail. This penalty is less severe if you hit the kerb gently while performing a reverse-park. This error is a potential safety problem. It suggests you need more practice with this manoeuvre, but it usually doesn’t place anyone in immediate danger.
Speeding
Driving too fast for the conditions and exceeding the speed limit causes crashes. Speed related crashes are a big problem for young drivers. The speed limit is the maximum safe speed at which you should drive. If you exceed the speed limit by more than 5 km/h during your test drive the test will be stopped and you will fail. This is regarded as a serious error because it creates an unsafe situation.

It is also a serious error to exceed the speed limit by any amount. Exceeding the speed limit by even a small amount may result in a penalty.

If the traffic is very busy and moving at a speed slower than the speed limit, you should choose an appropriate speed to fit into the traffic flow.  However you may be penalised if you drive too slowly for the conditions during the test because you are meant to be driving in normal, day-to-day driving conditions.
Failing to Give Way, Look, or Signal
Other drivers should not have to avoid a collision because of something you have done while driving.  It is your responsibility to choose a safe gap when you are entering traffic, turning at an inter-section, changing lanes, or merging.

If you fail to give way to another road user and they have to avoid a collision with you, the test will be terminated and you will fail. This is a serious, safety-related error.

Entering traffic, turning, or changing lanes without looking or signalling is obviously dangerous. Even if there are no other cars around, this type of behaviour increases the risk of a collision. For this reason it is treated as a serious error and you may fail the test if you don’t look or signal when required.


Stopping the Car

When you stop the car – either to park or at an intersection – you must stop in a safe position.  This means that your car should not be in a position where other road users have to change their behaviour to avoid you.

You will fail the test if other drivers or road users do have to avoid your car, and you may fail if you stop in a location where other drivers or road users might have to avoid you.
Stop Signs and Traffic Lights
It is not unusual for licence applicants to fail the on-road test because they go through a Stop sign or traffic light without stopping. This is very unsafe behaviour. You are required to STOP at a Stop sign or red traffic signal.

If you do not stop at a red traffic signal or red arrow that applies to you, the test will be terminated and you will fail. This is extremely risky behaviour.

If you drive through a Stop sign the test will be terminated and you will fail.

Some experienced drivers do the wrong thing by slowing down at a Stop sign to observe for hazards without actually stopping the wheels of the car completely.  This is illegal and may not be safe – you will be penalised if you do this in the test. You will have a Critical Error recorded and may end up failing the test even if there were no potential hazards nearby. If you create an unsafe situation by doing this, the test will be terminated and you will fail.  You must Stop at a Stop sign.
Any Other Unsafe Situations
The licence testing officer is able to terminate the test if you do anything that creates an unsafe situation. The licence testing officer is able to terminate the test to prevent an unsafe situation occurring. You are being assessed on your ability to drive safely so you, your passengers, and any other road users are not put at risk. If you do something that creates an unsafe situation, this is a sign that you are not ready to drive on your own.

If someone else does something that creates an unsafe situation, you will not be penalised as long as you detect the problem and react safely.
Any Other Illegal Actions
There are many road rules and you are expected to know them all and obey them – during the driving test and whenever you are driving.

If you disobey a road rule but it doesn’t put you or other road users (or property) at risk, a Critical Error will be recorded and you may end up failing the test. So it pays to be careful about obeying the rules.

Road to Solo Driving handbook

This handbook will help you study for your learner permit and licence tests. It contains important road safety and road law information that will prepare you for safe driving. You may also be interested in reading about the Drive Test.

Availability and cost
Available for purchase from the Victorian Government Bookshop, by calling the Victorian Government Bookshop on 1300 366 356, attending a VicRoads Customer Service Centre, selected newsagencies, some libraries and other retail outlets (cost can vary between retailers). Please refer to Licence publications and products for information on the Road to Solo Driving Handbook fee.

Latest version
The latest version (PDF only) of the English edition of this handbook is dated December 2012. The latest hard copy edition of this handbook is dated September 2012 and includes an addendum notifying the current requirements for evidence of identity.

Languages available
The Road to Solo Driving handbook is available for purchase and to view online in English, Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Turkish and Vietnamese.

View the Road to Solo Driving handbook
To make downloading easier, the English, Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Turkish and Vietnamese versions of the Road to Solo Driving handbook have each been split up into smaller sections.
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