It's Summer! 4 things to remember on the road these holidays!

Written by Michelle Lanceley

 

Are you a learner or P-Plate driver? Do you know your restrictions as a new driver on the road?

Don’t get caught out - here are 4 things to know as we head into ‘silly season’.

 

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

So you know your road rules well pretty well, right? But do you know what restrictions apply specifically to new drivers?

Can you use your phone on hands free? How many passengers can you have at a certain time?

Here are 4 important driving restrictions for Learner and P-Plate drivers to remember over the summer holiday season.

 

#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 if you are driving.

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

Something to be particularly aware of particularly her the Christmas season is that many holiday foods can contain alcohol.  

So, if you plan on digging into the eggnog, brandy pudding sauce or rum balls (who can resist?), make sure that you don’t drive too!

 

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 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 they cannot be over the legal BAC of 0.05 whilst supervising. It is best that the driver supervisor not consume alcohol as any amount can impair hazard awareness abilities which are crucial when teaching you how to drive.

Remember, the point of being a Learner drivers’ supervisor is to help the learner learn to drive and teach road safety, not for you to act as their free uber or taxi ride home after a night out!

 

#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.

 So, these summer holidays, when you jump in the car to drive anywhere, make sure you check your party hat in at the door, remember the road rules and drive responsibly.

 

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