Hitting the road? Here are 4 rules that will save you big time!

By Regan
Learning to Drive



"Can I use my phone on hands free?"

"How many passengers can I carry at a certain time?"

"Who can supervise my driving?"



Do you know the restrictions that apply to you as a new driver on the road?


You’ve passed your L's test and are learning to drive or have recently passed your P-plates. Congratulations! 

Now it's time to put everything you've learnt into action! And to avoid a fine that could cost you big bucks ...plus your licence! 

In Queensland, we don’t lose ‘points’ when we commit an offence. Instead, we start with zero points, and demerit points are added to our traffic record when we commit certain offences.

Demerit point limits

If you get 4 or more demerit points within a continuous 1 year period while you hold a Queensland class C learner licence, your driver licence will be suspended for 3 months.

NOTE: Double demerit points apply all year round for certain repeat mobile phone, seatbelt, speeding and motorcycle helmet offences committed within 1 year of the previous offence. Read more 


So, don't get caught out...here are 4 important road rules for Learner and P-Plate drivers (and experienced drivers!) to remember whenever you get behind the wheel. 


#1 No Alcohol Limit - drinking & driving is a no-no. 


Regardless of if you are 18 or older, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for all Learner and Provisional drivers is 0.00. That means that no amount of alcohol can be consumed when you are driving.

You don’t want to have your licence suspended and go back to being driven everywhere by your parents! So, it really is worth planning ahead and not ‘drinking and driving’ – even a little bit!


Fine: Any reading over 0.00 but under 0.05BAC means 3 - 9 months licence disqualification, maximum fine amount of  $1827 and maximum imprisonment term 3 months.


#2 Is your Learner Supervisor responsible?   


A supervisor for learner drivers must be at least 21 years old and have had a valid open licence for at least 1 year and for the same class of vehicle that you are driving. That means that you can’t have your mates on their P-Plates be your driving instructor, or even a supervisor that only has a licence for driving an automatic vehicle if you’re learning to drive a manual car.

If your supervisor checks these boxes, it is also very important to remember that the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit while supervising a learner is under 0.05. It is also illegal to supervise under the influence of drugs. It is best that the driver supervisor not consume alcohol as any amount can impair hazard awareness abilities which are crucial when teaching anyone how to drive. 

Remember parents and driving instructors! The point of being a Learner drivers’ supervisor is to teach road safety and help the learner learn to drive, not for them to act as your free Uber or taxi ride home after a night out!


Fine: Learner licence holder driving a vehicle while not under direction of an appropriately licensed supervisor - 4 demerit points and $213 


#3 Put your Phone Down when driving - that means you!


Most of us are aware that using and holding your mobile phone whilst driving is illegal regardless of whether you have a learner, provisional or open licence.

What you might forget is that on a L or P1- Plate licence you also can’t use hands free devices, wireless headsets or a phone on speaker even if it’s not in your hands. Any use of your phone, even when stopped at a red light or 'just to check a message' is not allowed.

So put your phone down, and away, somewhere you can't be distracted by it while driving. Your life and others depend on it. 


Fine for use of mobile phone while driving – 3 demerit points and $391. 


#4 Who can you drive with? Passenger restrictions to know


Apart from not using a mobile phone on speaker settings, there are other passenger restrictions to be aware of.

Planning to do a late night Maccas run with your friends? Between the hours of 11pm and 5am P1 licence holders can only have one passenger under the age of 21 who is not an immediate family member. You can check out a list here of what constitutes an immediate family member.


Fine for breach of late night driving restriction – 3 demerit points and $391

Remember, double demerit points apply all year around in Queensland, not just holidays. No one has money to burn so read more on Learner Licence demerit points and save yourself big time. 

And when you jump in the car to drive anywhere, make sure you put your 'safety hat' on first, remember the road rules and drive responsibly. 

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