New rule changes to learner and provisional drivers licenses come into effect next month and there are a few changes for Tasmanian drivers to adopt.
The changes on December 1 affect each novice-level license holder differently. They include:
A single licence card will be used for learner and provisional licence periods.
For all novice drivers a safe driver program is being introduced to reward drivers and riders who progress through both their P1 and P2 licences without an offence.
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The reward is a three-year full licence that is valued at up to $75.75. It will replace the existing offence free reward which eligible applicants must manually apply for.
Those who progressed to their full licence prior to December 1 and are eligible for the offence free reward have until December 1, 2021 to claim a refund under that scheme.
To be eligible for the safer driver reward, you will need to have:
- been licensed in Tasmania for both the full P1 and P2 periods;
- completed both the P1 and P2 periods;
- not have any demerit points recorded on your licence during the P1 and P2 periods;
- not committed an offence in the P1 and P2 periods leading to:
- a disqualification period
- disqualification; and
- not already received this or any other reward for another licence class
- so for example: if you have received a motorcycle offence free reward, you cannot claim a safer driver reward for your car licence, and vice versa.
P2 driver changes
Only P2 drivers are allowed to use hands-free mobile devices, P1 and L drivers can not use hands-free or any mobile phone device.
New P2 drivers will have to display a green p-plate whilst driving. If you progress to the P2 stage before December 1 you will not have this requirement. It applies to both car and motorcycle P2 licence holders.
P1 driver changes
New P1 drivers, under 25, can only carry one peer passenger aged 16-21 years old. However, there are exceptions. If you progress to the P1 stage before December 1 these restrictions will not apply.
Under the changes new P1 drivers can still carry:
- family members, such as a spouse, domestic partner, sibling or step-sibling
- an experienced driver who holds a full licence sitting beside them who is able to provide instruction
- Tasmania Police or emergency services workers that are driving in the course of their duties
- anyone younger than 16 and anyone older than 21
- more than one passenger aged 16-21 if its for employment, essential activities, such as education or medical purposes, or due to family circumstances
The P1 licence maximum speed limit rises to 100 km/h for new and old licence holders.
P1 drivers are longer able to use hands-free mobile devices.
Learner driver changes
New and existing learner drivers will need to complete 80 logbook hours, including 15 hours at night.
Any hours logged in the L1 stage will be counted towards the 80 hours.
To help get the 80 hours in the learner stage, you will be able to:
- attend a Rotary Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA) program and gain five hours
- get a one hour lesson with a certified driving instructor and gain two hours for your learner logbook but it is capped at 10 lessons
- Get a free Keys2drive lesson funded by the federal government, plus a second free lesson funded by the Tasmanian Government
However, any L2 licence holders will continue with their existing licence process, meaning they will need to hold the licence for a minimum of nine continuous months and log at least 50 logbook hours.
The L2 licence stage has also been removed moving forward, creating a single learner licence period.
Additionally the maximum speed limit of learner drivers rises to 90 km/h.
A new online hazard perception test will be introduced in 2021 to progress from a learner licence to a P1 licence.
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