Monday 16 April 2018



In Queensland, you have to sit for a written road rules test in order to get a learner licence, but this will change mid to late 2018.  The test currently in use consists of 30 multiple-choice questions and has by and large remained unchanged for decades.  Many people have suggested drivers should re-take the test every time they renew their licence.  However, the Queensland Government decided two years ago to completely change the test delivery in accordance with changes in learning behaviours of younger people and importantly in terms of addressing road safety.

Accordingly, an on-line driver education program is being developed by an educational technology company.  The new test, while not yet fully developed, contains training modules
as well as assessment components.  Anyone sitting the test will go through a four- to six-hour online interactive course that includes simulated driver scenarios as well as accounts from people affected by car crashes. Then you will have to answer somewhere in the vicinity of 380 questions, challenges and activities.  A recent video listed the amount of questions as 83 quiz questions, 63 bespoke activities, 60 challenges and 30 test questions with the required pass mark yet to be made available.  Below is a video introducing the new test format.

This will help new drivers get some idea of what it’s like to be in the driver’s seat and understand some of the decisions they will have to face before actually getting on the road.  It will undoubtedly give an advantage to anyone who feels very comfortable with technology and uses screens regularly in learning.

Some people have expressed reservations about the test, whether the amount of questions is in some way an overkill for a learner licence, will it be possible for dishonest people to cheat the system, and on-line accessibility.  Cairns traffic police have expressed support for a more comprehensive approach to driver education.  With a perception that some people can wing a good result on the current test, the present pass rate is less than 70% - the new test should lift that result.  Rather than just knowing the answer, test takers will learn the reason behind the rules. As for accessibility, it could be a issue for users of older devices or those with poor internet connections.

As a comparison, the UK has a slightly different system where all learner drivers complete a 50-question written test with a 57 minute time limit as well as a hazard perception test prior to doing their on-road driving test, arguably one of the most difficult in the world.  The UK pass rate for the on-road test is apparently somewhere south of 50%.


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