Friday 24 November 2023

Is left-foot braking OK?

 Is left foot braking OK?

There is a lot of disagreement about left-foot braking and whether it actually makes you safer on the road or that you may be creating a hazard for other road users.

There are vehicles which require left-foot operation, for example go-karts and motorcycles.  And it’s a technique often used by racing car and rally drivers where maintaining power while braking is crucial.  Left-foot braking can potentially save fractions of a second it takes for your right foot to move to the brake pedal.  There are no laws against left-foot braking. However, there are a number of reasons why you should consider right-foot braking and chief amongst those is the safe operation of a car.

Motoring organisations recommend right-foot braking as a method of safe driving.  The brake can be adequately covered by the right foot when approaching potential hazardous situations.  So, by using this method, the driver can brake with their right foot while bracing with their left foot on the footrest. This method also avoids the scenario of both feet pressing accelerator and brake at the same time.

In most cars, brake pedals are positioned for your right-foot.  In an interview, Formula One racing car driver Oscar Piastri stated that the ergonomics of most road cars do not support left foot braking.  You would potentially be putting your left foot where your right foot should be.

There is no law against left-foot braking, and in driving tests, the brakes should be operated smoothly and effectively to maintain control of the car.  Nevertheless, left-foot braking is not looked at favourably when doing a practical driving test.  In Queensland, left-foot braking constitutes a non-critical error in the Q-Safe Driving Test criteria.  

Criteria Q-Safe Driving Test

In newer modern cars, there are some overriding features to make braking safer.  Scenarios of drivers driving through shop fronts by pushing both brake and accelerator at the same time can be avoided with a computer override.  Many new cars have throttle-by-wire (the accelerator pedal has no physical connection, but is connected by wire to the engine), so it’s easy to kill the throttle via ECU (engine control unit) intervention when both pedals are pressed at the same time.  Some would argue that the scenario described here could be more easily avoided with right-foot braking.

NRMA driver training recommends the right foot be used for one task at a time. When accelerating the right foot is used on the accelerator pedal and when braking the right foot is used on the braking pedal. The left foot is placed on the foot position provided in the foot well of the driver compartment. The left foot can be used on the clutch pedal when changing gears in a manual vehicle.

Professional driving instructors will advise you to use your right foot for braking whether you are driving a manual or automatic vehicle.  Instructors will encourage you to concentrate on developing good hazard perception skills. One technique would be removing the right foot from the accelerator pedal and then covering the brake pedal with the right foot to reduce reaction time.  Many drivers do this automatically when approaching traffic lights that have been green for a considerable time and anticipate the possibility of the lights changing as they approach the intersection.  Left-foot braking offers very small compensation for undeveloped hazard perception.

Although there may be specific situations where left-foot braking, it is much safer to use your right foot for braking in normal day-to-day safe driving.




Saturday 2 September 2023



For any teenager, getting a licence can be an exciting experience not to mention enjoying the freedom that comes with driving.  And for many, it’s seen as a rite of passage.  This can be somewhat challenging for parents who want their teen to get their licence, but also drive with confidence and stay safe on the road.  Statistically worldwide, road crashes represent the greatest cause of death for young people between 15 to 29 years old.   Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available for new drivers to understand the road rules and how to control and drive a car responsibly.

So, are you ready to get started? It’s helpful to plan toward learning to drive and getting a licence.  Here are some steps to toward passing the driving test and driving safely on the road with confidence and reducing your risk of collision.

1. Learn the theory first.  You can download a copy of  ‘Your Keys to Driving in Queensland’ to get up to date information about road rules and licencing requirements. There is also a free on-line practice test containing 10 give way questions, and 20 road rule questions, which you could be asked.  This page includes a refresher of everyday driving rules.  Other resources are available through RACQ and Zutobi.

2. Pass a road rules test.  There are two ways to do this, either the PrepL on-line course or the written road rules test, a paper test that you can do in the TMR office. PrepL consists of interactive activities, videos and traffic scenarios covering driver attitude, signs, signals, road rules and sharing the road with others.  You can start PrepL as early as age 15yrs 11mths and proceed at your own pace. To be eligible to sit a written road rules test you must be at least 16 and attend a licence issuing centre.
3. Apply for a learner licence.  Once you turn 16, you can apply for a learner licence. Remember you are eligible for a learner licence provided you’ve passed the PrepL or written road rules test.  Whenever making an application for a licence, make sure you have evidence of identification. The cost of a 3-year learner licence as at 1 July 2023 is $75. You will receive a licence, a paper learner logbook unless you’d prefer the logbook app.  It’s possible to start with a paper logbook and transfer the recorded driving hours to the app.

4. Supervised logbook driving.  Once you have a learner licence, whether temporary paper one, or the real deal hard plastic one, you’re ready to start driving.  It might be reassuring to know that as a learner driver, you’re statistically in the lowest crash risk category.  That changes significantly once you’ve got your P’s however.  So, it’s kind of important to get the right practice and experience before you get your P’s. See notes below listing important things to know.  Booking with a reputable driver trainer would be very helpful at the beginning.

5. Hazard perception test.  The Hazard Perception Test or HPT  is an on-line test that measures your ability to predict and respond to dangerous driving situations and can be completed after you have held a learner licence for 6 months.  You’ll need to pass the HPT before you can do a driving test.  It’s actually OK to book a practical driving test before doing the HPT, but you must pass the HPT before your practical driving test. This a practice HPT test from the South Australian DIT, at least it gives you an idea of what to expect.

6. Book a practical driving test.  Booking a driving test is a fairly simple procedure.  You can either book your test on-line, or call QLD TMR on 132380.  It’s best to book well in advance to get the best appointment time and day that’s most suitable for you.  It’s OK to book a driving test before you complete your logbook and pass the HPT test, but you must pass the HPT test and have your logbook approved before the day of your driving test.

This video explains how to prepare for your driving test.  You might notice one or two driver errors in the video.


1. UNDERSTAND THE LAW.  There are serious penalties for driving under the influence of any substance, using a mobile phone and not wearing a seatbelt correctly.  TMR has an extensive list of offences with fines and demerit points.

2. GET FAMILIAR WITH YOUR VEHICLE.  Make sure you know how to adjust things in your car, for example adjust the seat and steering wheel and adjust the mirrors to the optimum position.  Get familiar with all switches in the car. (headlight, indicator, wiper, washer, hazard light etc.)  Also, learn what the warning lights mean.  The car owner manual can be a very helpful resource.  For flat tyres, dead batteries etc, roadside assistance such as RACQ can also be helpful.

3. START WITH SOMETHING EASY.  If you’ve never driven before, learn how to get in the car and adjust everything including the seat, steering wheel and mirrors.  Learn how to start and switch off the engine as well as how to secure the vehicle.  Practice moving off from the side of the road and then also stopping safely on the side of the road before progressing onto left turns and then right turns.  Many people begin their driving experience with a reputable driver trainer.

4. DON’T FEEL PRESSURED.  You’ll encounter various situations in traffic where you may feel you’re holding up traffic.  For example, don’t feel pressured by the driver behind you to go faster unnecessarily.  Similarly, try to avoid hasty decisions at intersections because you’re being followed.  A calm attitude will be helpful later when encountering peer pressure.

5. DRIVE WITH PURPOSE.  Plan your driving trip to include a new or existing skill.  This could include take-offs & stopping smoothly, approaches & turns at intersections, roundabouts, turning at traffic lights, manoeuvres.  Start simple but try to broaden your skills with different locations and remember to reinforce existing skills.

6. REVIEW ROAD RULES.  Quiz yourself with road rules, it’s a brilliant way to be prepared for your next drive.  Also, check the meaning of the road signs you encounter when driving.  Some signs may appear similar but the meaning can be quite different.

7. LOG ALL YOUR DRIVES.  Remember to log every drive and make sure to fill in all details correctly – it can be difficult to correct later.  The more hours you drive, the more experience you will get.  Lessons with a reputable driver trainer will boost your skill level - each of the first 10 hours of driver training is calculated at 3 hours for each hour of training.




Tuesday 25 July 2023

What happened to the Keys 2 Drive program and the ‘free’ driving lesson?

What happened to the Keys 2 Drive program and the ‘free’ driving lesson?

Keys 2 Drive - no longer running

What happened to the Keys 2 Drive program and the ‘free’ driving lesson?

The national Keys 2 Drive program began in 2008 and was an Australian Government funded program which provided learner drivers and their parents/supervisors a free driving lesson with accredited professional driving instructors.

The goal of the Keys 2 Drive program was to reduce the risk of young drivers having a serious crash within the first six months on their P-plates. The program was structured so that young learner drivers find their own way in how to learn to drive safely. The purpose of the program was to significantly reduce the crash risk of new drivers as a driver going from L to P-plates were statistically six times more likely to have a serious crash.

The Australian Government has an established goal of halving national road deaths by 50 per cent by 2030. However independent appraisals showed that the Keys 2 Drive program was not delivering the measurable road safety improvements that the government had hoped for. Consequently, access to the program ended for participants on 31 March 2023.

Monday 17 July 2023



Defensive Driving Course

It’s not unusual for parents to want their children to have some kind of advanced driver training to make them safer on the road.  It’s important to acknowledge that there are several different kinds of courses available.  From the wide range of courses that are available, it’s important to seek course components that would be most beneficial to young drivers.

There are actually a wide variety of driving courses available.  These can include:

1. Driving experience courses designed for you to have fun usually with an instructor present to prevent an accident.
2. Race car driver or stunt driver courses where you learn car control skills specific to purpose.
3. Specialist courses such as 4WD off-road, or caravan towing.
4. Defensive driving courses to reduce risk of collisions and improve road safety through car control.  It helps you to avoid dangerous situations including serious weather conditions and other people’s poor driving behaviours.

These courses all sound quite interesting and there is a benefit in improving car control skills and can help with drivers’ confidence and a feeling of safety on the road.  However, road safety

Wednesday 5 July 2023

How to Become a Safer Driver

How to Become a Safer Driver

Being a good driver is about much more than just knowing the rules of the road; you also have to be vigilant at all times, eliminate distractions, and make sure your vision is unimpaired. For drivers in areas where the weather can be unpredictable, it’s especially important to be safe behind the wheel.

One of the best ways to become a better driver is to change any bad habits, like talking on the phone, texting, or dealing with any other distractions while the car is in gear. Focusing on the road and other drivers will help you stay safe, and keep others safe as well. 

Even if you think you’re an impeccable driver, it never hurts to have a refresher on safe driving. Read on for more tips from Ace Driver Training on how to stay safe on the roads.

Think objectively about your ability to drive

If you’re a senior with health issues or vision trouble, it might be safer to leave the driving to

Monday 27 February 2023



Inside a shopping centre car park, you’ll have the option of parking forwards or reversing into a parking space.  While parking straight in may be quicker, reversing in can be a safer and a slightly more economical option.

Whether parking forwards or in reverse, you should check that the parking space is empty and no shopping trolleys left inside the space or any other potential obstruction.  Also, keep an eye out for pedestrian traffic.  Manoeuvring your car in at low speed should allow you control to park carefully.  At this stage, reversing into an empty parking spot will pose less risk than reversing out into any traffic.

Outside of showing off your parking skill, the reasoning for reversing into a parking spot is quite strong.  When reversing, the wheels doing the steering are at the back making your car more manoeuvrable.  When exiting forwards from the parking spot, it’s a lot easier to spot potential hazards and merge into traffic.

Tuesday 21 February 2023

What's the new fee for a Learner Licence in Queensland?

 What's the new fee for a learner licence in Queensland?

Save the date March 1st!  From March 1st, new learner drivers in Queensland are going to pay $75 for a learner licence.  After repeated requests, the Queensland government has responded by lowering the learner licence fee.

At $75, the licence fee will now be $110 cheaper than the existing fee.  However, a Queensland learner licence will still be more expensive than every other state except Western Australia. 

Learner licences will continue to be valid for a three-year period.  On average it takes Queenslanders approximately 20 months to move to their provisional licence.

If you wait and get your learner licence on or after 1 March, you will pay the new