Road safety benefits

Road safety benefits
Research from around the world has shown that ISA can significantly reduce travel speeds and threfore crashes. Research undertaken by the TAC and MUARC in Australia estimates that ISA can reduce fatal and serious injury crashes by up to eight per cent.

VicRoads Repeat Speeders Trial
The results of a landmark study of Victorian motorists with a history of speeding has found that using speed alert devices can reduce speeding and potentially save lives.

VicRoads designed and conducted two trials; one involving repeat speeders attending a behaviour change discussion group, while the other used advisory ISA technology to warn drivers they were speeding. Researchers from the Monash University Accident Research Centre independently evaluated the trials.

Environmental benefits
Local and international research also indicates that the use of ISA produces fewer fluctuations in travel speed which results in a higher fuel efficiency and a subsequent decrease in vehicle emissions.

Some portable satellite navigation (GPS) devices already have speed limit information in them and can be set to provide a warning to drivers if they travel over the speed limit.

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.

You are ready to attempt the driving test

  • You have at least 120 hours of on-road supervised driving experience in a variety of traffic, road, and driving conditions, including experience in the wet, on high-speed roads and at least 10 hours at night.
  • You can perform day-to-day driving tasks safely on different types of roads, including busy roads, multilane roads, roads with different speed zones, and in a range of traffic conditions.
  • You can perform day-to-day driving tasks safely without the assistance of your supervising driver or instructor. That is, you can drive independently and make your own safe driving decisions.

You consistently demonstrate the following safe driving behaviours while driving in different traffic conditions:

  • Observation – you are aware of other road users and road conditions at all times, using head
    checks and mirrors as well as looking ahead of your car and observing behind your car when
    demonstrating low speed manoeuvres
  • Signal use – you communicate your intentions to other road users by using your signals
  • Gap selection – you choose the first safe gap when moving into traffic
  • Speed choice – you always drive under the speed limit but not too slowly – that is, you choose
    a safe, efficient speed depending on traffic and road conditions
  • Following distance – you always leave a safe distance in front of your car
    Lateral position – you choose the safest lane to drive in, steer a smooth path, and always stay
    within your own lane
  • Stop Position – you stop your car fully in the correct position when at Stop signs, traffic
    signals, and pedestrian crossings
  • Control – you are in full control of the car at all times and can drive smoothly

You can perform the following actions safely and legally in a range of traffic conditions:

  • Right and left turns at different types of intersections
  • Lane changes to the left and the right
  • Merging with other traffic
  • Reverse parallel parking and a three point turn
  • Driving along straight or curved roads in different traffic

You can drive in different traffic and road conditions without committing any serious safety errors such as:

  • Colliding with the kerb when driving
  • Causing a near miss with other cars or road users
  • Exceeding the speed limit at any time
  • Causing other road users to avoid a collision by failing to signal, observe, or give way
  • Driving through a Stop sign or red traffic light
  • Stopping the car in an unsafe position
  • Driving too slowly for the conditions
  • Failing to look or signal
  • Blocking a pedestrian crossing
  • Allowing a wheel to mount the kerb when parking or leaving a parking space
  • Failing to come to a complete stop, in the correct position, at a Stop sign

Speed facts of car driving

Vehicle travel speeds affect both the risk of crash involvement and the severity of crashes, and subsequent injuries. Speed is a critical factor in every serious crash, and speeding was identified as a contributing factor in an estimated 36% of fatal crashes (2007-2011). Reductions in travel speed save lives and injuries. Reductions in the average travel speed across the network is the most effective and swift way to reduce road trauma and would produce significant and immediate road safety benefits.

Why is speeding a problem?

If we all do the right thing and drive within the speed limit, lives will be saved and serious injuries will be prevented. A reduction of 5 km/h in average travel speed would reduce rural casualty crashes by about 30% and urban crashes by about 25%.  This is a significant saving of lives and injuries for South Australians.

Stopping distance

A critical factor in the relationship between speed and crashes is stopping distance. There are two components to stopping distance:

  1. The distance travelled by the vehicle during the time it takes for the driver to react; and
  2. The distance travelled once the brakes have been applied.

The impact of speeding on crash risk

The risk of a casualty crash approximately doubles with each 5km/h increase in speed on a 60km/h speed limited road, or with each 10km/h increase in speed on 110km/h roads.
It is illegal to drive at any speed above the speed limit.

Vehicle travel speeds affect both the risk of crash involvement and the severity of crashes, and subsequent injuries.

Driving over the speed limit:

  • increases your chances of being involved in a crash
  • means you have less time to react to avoid a crash
  • takes longer to stop the vehicle to avoid a crash
  • increases the severity of injury in a crash.

Drinking alcohol can affect your driving

  • Slowing down your reaction time – this can be crucial in an emergency situation
  • Dulling your thinking processes, making it difficult to multi-task – an essential skill reducing your attention span – not noticing other drivers and/ or vehicles
  • Causing short-term side effects such as blurred vision and reduced hearing – reducing your ability to drive safely and identify driving hazards.

What is BAC?
BAC is a measurement of the amount of alcohol in your body, expressed as grams of alcohol per 100ml of blood. Hence, for fully licensed car drivers the legal limit of 0.05 BAC means 0.05gm alcohol per 100ml of blood. For special licence categories such as learner and probationary drivers, taxi, bus, train and heavy truck drivers, the legal limit is zero (0) BAC or 0.02 (which in practice means no alcohol at all).

A driver’s BAC is measured by a simple breath test procedure. If tested by the police, drivers must be below their allowable legal limit. A glass of champagne (11.5 per cent alcohol), or a 375ml stubby or can of full strength beer (4.9 per cent alcohol) are all 1.5 standard alcoholic drinks.

To keep under the 0.05 BAC limit, males can drink no more than two (2) standard alcoholic drinks in the first hour (10gm of alcohol in each) followed by one (1) standard alcoholic drink every hour after that. However, females can drink no more than one (1) standard alcoholic drink every hour.

Danger increases the more you drink
0.02 to 0.05 BAC – your ability to see or locate moving lights correctly is reduced, as is your ability to judge distances. Your tendency to take risks is increased, and your ability to respond to several stimuli is decreased.

At 0.05 BAC drivers are twice (2) as likely to have a crash as before they started drinking.

0.05 to 0.08 BAC – your ability to judge distances reduces further, sensitivity to red lights is impaired, reactions are slower, and concentration span is shorter.

At 0.08 BAC drivers are five (5) times more likely to have a crash than before they started drinking. At 0.08 to 0.12 BAC – “euphoria” sets in – you overestimate your abilities, which leads you to drive recklessly, your peripheral vision is impaired (resulting in accidents due to hitting vehicles while passing), and your perception of obstacles is impaired. Drivers are up to ten (10) times more likely to have a crash.

How does alcohol affect me?

Alcohol is a drug that slows down your body, both physically and mentally. Excessive drinking affects your judgment, memory and reaction time. It takes much longer for your body to expel alcohol than to absorb it, so you can drink a large quantity of alcohol in the evening and still have alcohol present in your body the next day, affecting your driving and other activities.

It’s important to note that these guidelines are general and a range of factors can influence an individual’s BAC, such as your body size, age, level of fitness, liver health, gender, medication, when you last ate and the type of food you ate.