Queensland's Q-SAFE driver testing regime will be reviewed this year for the first time since its introduction in 1998, State Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed this week.
The Minister said that the review will focus on strengthening the current system, which could include testing learner drivers on broader skills such as thinking ahead and planning a trip.
"The review highlights the Queensland Government's commitment to road safety, ensuring novice drivers are safe, competent drivers before taking to the roads unsupervised," Ms Palaszczuk said.
The review panel will be led by government and industry experts, including former RACQ external relations manager Gary Fites and Professor Barry Watson from the Queensland Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety.
"Through industry and community input we are looking to recommend a form of licence test most appropriate for novice drivers under the current licensing system," Mr Fites said.
Areas of the Q-SAFE programme to be reviewed include the development of best-practice practical driving tests, a suitable 'cooling off' period after a failed test, and qualifications for driver examiners.
A discussion paper released by the Queensland government shows that the review will also look at international programmes, measuring overseas success against the current Q-SAFE system.
"For example, the 'Drive' test recently introduced in the Netherlands uses 'independent driving' rather than standardised test routes," the discussion paper reads.
“The examiner directs a candidate to drive to a location, without giving specific directions, and the candidate must find their own way there safely."
“This offers a more realistic assessment of a candidate's ability to drive safely as he or she must demonstrate the ability to make safe decisions independently.”
Panel chair Di Farmer said the review will seek feedback from the public, including learner drivers, parents and instructors.
"I encourage all Queenslanders to have their say on the discussion paper," Ms Farmer said.
"There will also be extensive community consultation over the coming months, with independently facilitated workshops with key stakeholders, and community forums planned."
Ten community forums are planned state-wide. They will be held in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Caboolture, Toowoomba, Mt Isa, Bundaberg, Townsville, Proserpine, Cairns and Yarrabah. Dates will be finalised soon.
The discussion paper is available at www.tmr.qld.gov.au/qsafe
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