Practical Driving Assessment

I often receive phone calls from parents wanting one or two lessons for their child on how to park a car.

They usually tell us that their child knows how to drive but just needs to learn how to park to pass the practical driving assessment.

Many parents are not aware of what is involved in passing today’s Practical Driving Assessment (PDA) or how the Department of Transport Assessors evaluate each PDA.

Today’s post will hopefully provide you with some helpful information and some links to Department of Transport publications.

Be prepared to pass the Practical Driving Assessment.

Many people attending a Practical Driving Assessment do so unprepared without any knowledge of the competency standard required to pass their PDA.

There are a couple of publications provided by the Western Australian Department of Transport to help you understand the required standard to pass the Practical Driving Assessment (PDA).

It is highly recommended that you read these publications as a check list for yourself, to see if you meet the standard.

The links below will direct you to the publications.

Competency Standard

How To Pass Your Driving Assessment (Booklet)

Below are examples from the How To Pass Your Driving Assessment (Booklet) of how the Practical Driving Assessment is marked for each criteria. On the assessment paper you will receive a Green Tickwhen all conditions are met or a Red X if they are not.

EXAMPLE 1

LOOK BEHIND

Green TickWhen all conditions are met.                                            Red X   When any of these occur

Directs eyes towards the appropriate rear side window (head check) immediately before the vehicle starts to enter a position that a following vehicle could also enter. Fails to do a head check immediately before the vehicle starts to enter a position that a following vehicle could also enter.Does a head check more than two seconds before the vehicle alters course.
Directs eyes to the appropriate mirror at regular intervals. Fails to direct eyes to the appropriate mirror at regular intervals.
Directs eyes to the appropriate mirror at least 5 – 10 seconds before starting to turn or diverge. Fails to direct eyes to the appropriate mirror at least 5 – 10 seconds before turning or diverging.
Directs eyes in the appropriate directions prior to, and at intervals while reversing. Fails to direct eyes in the appropriate directions prior to, and at intervals while reversing.

EXAMPLE 2

SIGNAL

Green TickWhen all conditions are met.                                            Red X   When any of these occur

When leaving a parked position the indicator is on for five seconds before moving. Fails to use or operate the indicator for less than five seconds before moving from a parked position.
When moving, turns on the appropriate indicator sufficiently to signal intention before turning or diverging. Fails to use or does not operate the indicator sufficiently to signal intention before turning or diverging.
Keeps the indicator on until the manoeuvre is completed. Cancels the indicator before most of the vehicle has entered the new lane or position.
The indicator is cancelled within three flashes of the manoeuvre being completed. The indicator is not cancelled after four flashes of the manoeuvre being completed.

EXAMPLE 3

FLOW

Green TickWhen all conditions are met.                                            Red X   When any of these occur

Starts the manoeuvre promptly. Does not respond to an instruction. Is very slow starting or misses opportunities to start a manoeuvre.
Proceeds continuously through the parts of the manoeuvre. Stumbles or pauses performing parts of the manoeuvre.
Proceeds directly through a series of manoeuvres. Falters joining manoeuvres together.
Fits in with other traffic. Inconveniences or unnecessarily slows or holds up other road users when doing a manoeuvre.
Complies with the rules for stop signs, give way signs, traffic signals, and right of way. Does not comply with the rules for stop signs, give way signs, traffic signals, and right of way.
Drives without assistance. Asks for, or requires, help to perform any manoeuvre.
Adjusts controls as situations change. Continues with the same driving pattern even though situations are changing.
Directs eyes to hazards posing an immediate threat. Keeps head and eyes directed forward when approaching hazards to the side.
Smoothly adjusts to a safe speed in the presence of threats to safety. Adopts a speed that would prevent the driver from avoiding a collision with road users who are not complying with the law or with safe and reasonable driving.
Uses a suitable, safe and legal low-speed manoeuvre for the location. Uses an unsuitable,

EXAMPLE 4

MOVEMENT

Green TickWhen all conditions are met.                                            Red X   When any of these occur

Moves in the desired direction. Travels in the wrong direction for more than 30 cm.
Vehicle moves smoothly and remains stable when movement is initiated and adjusted. Passengers are required to put effort into remaining stable when movement is initiated and adjusted.
Varies speed appropriately throughout the manoeuvre. Travels too quickly, or drives excessively slowly for any part of the manoeuvre.
Travels within the speed limit. Exceeds the speed limit, or drives excessively slowly in normal traffic conditions.
Stops accurately. Stops before or beyond desired stopping point.
Remains stopped as necessary. Does not keep vehicle stationary when necessary.
Stops at a safe and legal point. Stops in an unsafe or illegal position.
Maintains a safe following distance. Does not maintain a safe following distance.

EXAMPLE 5

PATH

Green TickWhen all conditions are met.                                           Red X   When any of these occur

Tracks accurately in manoeuvres, curves and on straight roads. Steers inaccurately, or follows a path that uses more or less steering input than is appropriate for the manoeuvre.
Keeps the vehicle stable during changes of direction. Steering tends to unbalance passengers.
Travels centrally in the lane (where lanes are marked). Travels over or near line markings unnecessarily.
Uses the most travelled section of road. Adopts a position on the road not normally followed by other road users.
Follows a legal path. Travels an illegal path.
Uses steering well and at the appropriate time. Fails to use steering well and uses steering inappropriately.
Adopts a path that suits the environment. Adopts a path that places the vehicle unnecessarily close to a series of hazards.

EXAMPLE 6

RESPONSIVENESS

Green TickWhen all conditions are met.                                            Red X   When any of these occur

Adopts a speed that suits the environment. Drives too fast to respond to the hazards safe drivers could expect in the environment.
Shows courtesy to other road users. Does not drive courteously or has no attention to spare to consider acting courteously to other drivers in busy or adverse traffic situations; selfishly maintains his/her own right of way and passage at the expense of other road users.
Is aware of traffic conditions well beyond the immediate vicinity. Concentrates upon, and reacts to, issues only in the immediate vicinity or directly related to the car in front.

EXAMPLE 7

VEHICLE MANAGEMENT

Green TickWhen all conditions are met.                                           Red X   When any of these occur

Makes sure the cabin and occupants are safe. Ignores things affecting cabin safety.
Mirrors are adjusted for the best view of following traffic. Mirrors do not provide the best view of following traffic.
Adopts and maintains an effective driving posture. Adopts a driving posture that is not good for controlling the vehicle.
Responds appropriately to the vehicles instruments. Does not respond to warnings or important information displayed by the vehicles instruments.
Uses switches as required. Does not use switches as required.
Steers and uses the gears in a way that promotes control. Uses the steering or gears in a way that reduces control of the vehicle.