The driving test follows a set course comprising of 25 zones. During the test a testing officer will be in the car with you directing you where to drive, and recording your performance on a score sheet. Your score will be based on your driving performance in a range of situations and your ability to demonstrate low risk behaviours. You are assessed against five key performance areas: speed management (S); road positioning (P); decision making (D); responding to hazards (H) and vehicle control (C).
Some driving behaviour such as breaking a road rule or following other vehicles too closely is considered to be ‘high risk ’. If you behave this way during the test your actions will be recorded as FAIL items and you will not pass, regardless of your score
TAKING THE TEST When you go to the testing centre for the driving test, you must have a person with you who has a full driver licence. If you fail the test you cannot drive away on your own and will need a licenced driver to be with you. Plan to arrive at the testing centre in good time for your appointment The testing officer cannot tell you how to drive or coach you during the test as it is an assessment of your ability to drive on your own. The test score is expressed as Actual Score over Possible Score.
YOUR CAR MUST BE SUITABLE FOR SAFE USE AND READY TO DRIVE Before the test starts the testing officer will check to make sure that your car is suitable for safe use.
WHY A TEST CAN BE CANCELLED If there is any suspicion that you have recently taken alcohol or another drug, the test will be cancelled and there will be no refund of the test booking fee. If you offer money, some other bribe, or try to influence the testing officer, the test will be stopped and you may be taken to a police station and charged with offering a bribe.
WHY YOU MIGHT FAIL
This guide shows examples of what you must do to drive safely and pass the test. However, some actions and behaviours are classed as fail items. If you do something that gets a fail, your test will continue so that you can be given a full assessment of your driving ability but you will not pass the test. Here is a list of all the fail items along with some examples of how they may happen on a driving test.
- DISOBEYING TRAFFIC SIGNS, SIGNALS OR ROAD MARKINGS
Be sure you have a thorough understanding of the meaning of regulatory signs, traffic signals and road markings. They tell you what road rules apply in any specific situation. Examples of this fail item include:
- Not stopping at a red traffic light. This means that all of your vehicle must be behind the stop line.
- Not stopping at a yellow traffic light when it is safe to do so. You must stop at a yellow light unless sudden braking might cause a crash.
- Not stopping correctly at a stop line. Your final stopped position must be within one metre of the stop line and with no part of your car over the line.
- Crossing a continuous centre line, lane line or edge line unnecessarily.
- Disobeying lane markings (transit lane, turn arrows etc).
- Not obeying regulatory signs such as One Way, No Entry
- FAILING TO GIVE WAY WHEN NECESSARY
Examples of this fail item include:
- Not giving way to any vehicle that has priority over you at an intersection.
- Not giving way to pedestrians at marked crossings and intersections.
- Not giving way if required when entering a traffic stream, merging or lane changing.
- COLLIDING WITH A VEHICLE, PEDESTRIAN OR OBJECT
This includes mounting or straddling (one wheel either side of) a traffic dome and mounting the kerb or roundabout. You will not fail if you touch the kerb face with your wheels.
- PERFORMING AN ILLEGAL ACT OR MANOEUVRE
An illegal act or manoeuvre is anything contrary to the Road Rules where a regulatory traffic sign, signal or road marking is not present.
Examples of this fail item include:
- Unnecessarily driving on the wrong side of the road on unmarked roads.
- Turning from the incorrect position. For example, starting a left turn from the right lane,
- When turning left or right in an arrowed lane, you do not exit to a permissible lane.
- Stopping on a pedestrian crossing or stop line when giving way to pedestrians.
- Not driving in the left lane when required to do so.
- Making an unlawful U-Turn.
- Not using the correct lane to turn at a roundabout.
- Overtaking or passing a stationary vehicle at a pedestrian crossing.
- Entering a level crossing when unsafe to do so.
- Not wearing a seatbelt.
- Answering or using a mobile phone.
- EXCEEDING THE SPEED LIMIT
The speed limit is the maximum allowable speed for that section of road under normal conditions. Exceeding the speed limit is dangerous and illegal.
You will fail if you exceed the speed limit at any time including:
- The 40 kilometre per hour limit at school zones during the hours of operation.
- The 40 kilometre per hour limit when passing a bus with flashing lights.
- The learner driver speed limit.
- Speed limits at road works.
- ACTION REQUIRING TESTING OFFICER INTERVENTION
At this stage of your driving experience you should be able to drive without any help. If the testing officer has to give you verbal or physical assistance, including using the dual controls in an instructor's vehicle, you will fail.
- CAUSING A DANGEROUS SITUATION
This fail item covers any unsafe act or behaviour that puts you or others at risk, such as overtaking in an unsafe manner, or giving way unnecessarily.
- FAILING TO MAINTAIN PROPER CONTROL OF THE VEHICLE
This fail item applies to anything that could, or does, result in you losing control of the vehicle such as:
- Allowing the vehicle to roll back more than 500mm when moving off. • Skidding or spinning the drive wheels.
- Clutch coasting (allowing the vehicle to roll along with your foot on the clutch) or coasting in neutral.
- Not maintaining effective control of the steering wheel.
- FAILING TO EXERCISE DUE CARE TO AVOID AN ACCIDENT
You must be ready at all times to respond to hazards. If a situation occurs requiring your response and you are not prepared, you will fail.
- FAILING TO GIVE WAY TO AN EMERGENCY VEHICLE
You will fail if you do not move out of the way of an emergency vehicle.
- DISOBEYING DIRECTIONS FROM A PERSON CONTROLLING TRAFFIC
This item includes failure to obey police, emergency services or armed forces personnel, traffic controllers (eg. flag persons at road works) and pilot vehicles etc.
- FREQUENTLY NOT SIGNALLING INTENTION
You will fail if you repeatedly do not signal when legally required to do so. You must signal:
- To give sufficient warning to other road users of your intentions when turning left or right.
- For at least five seconds before leaving the kerb.
- For at least five seconds before leaving a parking space.
- When changing lanes, diverging or pulling over to the kerb.
- When exiting a roundabout.
- REFUSING TO ATTEMPT ANY PART OF THE TEST
You are required to complete the whole test to get a pass. You can be failed for refusing to do any part of the test.
- REPEATED OR DELIBERATE FAILURE TO FOLLOW DIRECTIONS
You must follow all reasonable directions given to you by the testing officer during the test.
- UNREASONABLY OBSTRUCTING OTHER VEHICLES OR PEDESTRIANS
You will fail if you unreasonably obstruct other vehicles or pedestrians during the test. This includes if you:
- Enter an intersection without enough space on the other side due to traffic, blocking the intersection as a result.
- Drive significantly below the speed limit when prevailing conditions do not require it.
- RECEIVING EXTERNAL ADVICE OR INSTRUCTION DURING THE TEST
You will fail if you receive any external advice from a third party at any time during the test. This includes the time from when you sign the score sheet.
- NOT PARKING TO THE REQUIRED STANDARD
During the manoeuvres you will fail if:
- The final position of your car is more than one metre from the kerb or obstructing traffic.
- Your wheels are on or over marked parking lines.
- You reverse more than seven metres from the vehicle in front during the reverse park section of the test.
- FAILING TO MAINTAIN A SAFE FOLLOWING DISTANCE
You will fail if you follow too closely to the vehicle in front.
- FREQUENTLY NOT PERFORMING OBSERVATION CHECKS
You will incur this fail item if you repeatedly miss observation checks when required. Specifically this fail item applies to checking your blind spots when you:
- Leave or return to the kerb.
- Merge, diverge or change lanes.
- Are about to reverse, such as in a reverse parallel park and 3 point turn.
- Turn at intersections, leave or join the road.
- Cross lanes within a roundabout on exiting. You must turn your head and check it is safe to proceed when moving off after being stopped at traffic lights and railway level crossings.
In most circumstances, even if you commit a fail item, your test will continue and you will be given a full assessment of your performance. In some circumstances the testing officer may record an IMMEDIATE FAIL. You will not be permitted to finish the test and the testing officer may drive you back to the motor registry. An immediate fail may occur if:
- You do anything which is unsafe or dangerous and there is an obvious danger to the public.
- You refuse to cooperate with the testing officer
While IMMEDIATE FAIL criteria applies to issues concerning driving ability, Termination criteria applies to situations not concerned with the applicant’s driving performance. Your test will be terminated if any of the unsatisfactory items below cannot be rectified at the time of the test:
- The testing vehicle
- is not suitable for safe use
- indicator lights (including side repeaters) or brake lights do not operate, are incomplete, dirty or discoloured.
- tyres are not in a satisfactory condition.
- is not registered.
- windscreen cracked or broken so as to obscure driver’s and/or testing officer’s vision, (not including minor cracks).
- has a complying (approved and in working condition) lap/sash seat belt is not fitted for the testing officer.
- head restraints are not fitted (vehicle manufactured after 1 January 1972). • is not suitable for class of licence.
- is not suitable for type of disability.
- has sharp edges caused by body damage.
- has any mirror broken or damaged to the extent that it distorts vision.
- has any wheel rim excessively damaged.
- has any visible wheel nuts missing.
- has any excessive under body fluid leaks.
- dual brake (if fitted) IS operational.
- dual accelerator (if fitted) is NOT operational (dual accelerator must be secured out of reach or rendered inoperable).
- front passenger door handle (either inside or outside), or window handle, is missing or inoperative.
- does not have solid front doors (cloth or fabric doors are not acceptable).
- is a convertible or Targa top and the roof is not capable of being covered in, at the request of the testing officer or in the event of bad weather.
- The testing vehicle is unsuitable for the class of licence test.
Note: This includes a vehicle which contains equipment that can record any aspect of the driving test including, visual images, sounds or the vehicle’s position.
- The testing vehicle is not suitable for the type of disability.
- The testing vehicle breaks down during the test, or a large number of assessments are missed while off the test course.
- The applicant demonstrates unacceptable, inappropriate or unlawful behaviours. Including:
- A bribe or inducement is offered, or any other form of corrupt conduct is suggested
- Extreme emotional pleas, threats or sexual advances in an attempt to influence a test result (a warning may be given if required) b) Extreme emotional pleas, threats or sexual advances in an attempt to influence a test result (a warning may be given if required)
- Repeated and persistent requests to ignore an error. (A warning may be given if required.)
- Threatening, abusive, aggressive or violent behaviours.
- The driver is, or is suspected to be, under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- A crash occurs during the test, regardless of who is at fault.
- The applicant is ill, to the extent that they may not be able to drive safely.
- Weather conditions are bad and make the driving task too demanding. If the test is terminated the test fee may not be refunded.
- Learner driver log book not complete in accordance with requirements.
When you return to the registry the testing officer will ask you to wait inside while your result is calculated. Your testing officer will call you to the counter to tell you your result. If you do not pass you will be given a test report that shows your score and where you need to improve. Your testing officer will discuss this briefly with you. Louis will discuss your Score Sheet in detail. Testing officers will only provide general comments and are not permitted to discuss specific situations or events. Remember, testing officers are not driving instructors and it is not their job to give you a driving lesson.