Has your son or daughter just got a learner’s permit?

Has your son or daughter just got a learner’s permit? The scary thought Is that now you will be sitting alongside them while they drive you around.
Your life in their hands!

Before you get started on the practice drives with your learner driver there are a few things you could consider.
• Learner drivers are among the safest drivers on the road, they rarely have crashes.
• However within the first six months of gaining a provisional licence they have gone from being the safest group of drivers to the most unsafe.
• In Australia drivers aged between 17 and 25 make up slightly more than 15% of the total population, yet they represent around 32% of serious crash casualties.

What can explain this?
Driving looks easy but, like many other activities, it takes a long time to master. There is a lot to learn.
Experienced drivers can automatically put together all of the skills needed to be a safe driver, such as:
• applying the brakes, clutch, gears;
• interpreting and applying the road rules;
• making decisions about where and when to go, and
• how to look out for things that may cause problems and then dealing with them.

New drivers spend a lot of time and attention on the physical skills required for driving, (braking, steering etc.) and forget about the other things that are most important in terms of safety.
Researchers suggest that it takes more than 100 hours of practice for a learner to be able to do things automatically. Having plenty of driving practice is essential for every learner.

Before your learner takes to the driver’s seat,
• Read as much as you can about ‘Learning to Drive’ and your role as the person who supervises the driving practice session. As your child learns to drive, make sure they practise on all types of roads and in all kinds of weather and driving conditions.
Make sure the first time they have to deal with a tricky driving situation isn’t when they are on their own as a P driver.
• Find a professional driver trainer with whom you and your learner feel comfortable. The instructor will be important for teaching safe driving techniques and correcting any mistakes.
You will be working with this driver trainer for a long time to make sure your learner knows how to apply the road rules, recognise risks and hazards, and to see safe driving as important. Make yourself known to the trainer – and it’s a good idea for you to sit in on some lessons.
• Don’t try to rush the learner. Expect them to take a long time to put together all the skills required for safe driving – that’s why the learner licence is valid for a long period.
• Plan lessons so that at first your learner is doing lots of driving practice in quiet local streets. After a while you can go out into busier and more complex streets and at different times of the day.
By the time they are ready to go solo they should have driven on all types of roads and under all types of conditions.
Be prepared to put your learner behind the wheel at every opportunity – even short local trips that take just a few minutes. All experiences add up and help make your learner a safer driver once they go solo.

Tips for the Supervisor 1a

Tips for the Supervisor 1b

Credit – pdf’s used by permission – Australian Driver Trainers Association Australia (NSW) and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau

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I was driving between lessons the other day listening to talk-back radio. The topic was tailgating and how there is a real problem with it in Bunbury and that drivers don’t  know the correct distance to follow another vehicle.
Listening to the people calling in, I was amazed that so many people had no idea as to how to judge a safe following distance.
I parked my car and called the radio station and referred them to page 49 of Drive Safe (A handbook for Western Australian road users).
This book is available to any member of the public free of charge from any Dept of Transport office and Regional Shire Offices.
As a result of what I heard on the radio, I decided to write this post.

In traffic, the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you is known as the safe headway. Keep a safe headway by ensuring you are at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front.
This is known as the two-second rule. You can use the following steps to check if you are obeying the rule:
On a dry road, choose a point like a lamp post or road sign.
When the vehicle in front passes that point, say out loud “Only a fool breaks the two-second rule”.
Check your position in relation to your chosen point as you finish saying this. If you have already passed the point, you are driving too close to the vehicle in front and need to pull back.
In wet weather, double the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you by saying “Only a fool breaks the two-second rule” twice.
Remember, never drive closer than indicated by the two-second rule. If you drive too close to the vehicle in front (tailgating) and it brakes suddenly, you may not have enough time to react.
If you run into the vehicle, you will be liable for any damage caused.


Below is an excerpt from Drive Safe (A handbook for Western Australian road users).
Following Distances
You must keep enough distance behind a vehicle that will enable you to stop the vehicle
safely in an emergency – and without running into the vehicle in front.
Most rear end collisions are caused by drivers following too closely behind the
vehicle in front of them.
The space or ‘cushion’ between you and the vehicle in front of you is called the following
distance. To determine how much following distance you should allow, consider the
speed of the traffic and the condition of the road.

The Two Second Rule

A way of estimating what is an adequate following distance is to use what is called the ‘two second’ rule.
While driving along the road look at an object by the side of the road, such as a tree or pole,that will soon be passed by the vehicle ahead. As soon as that vehicle passes the object, say to yourself, ‘one thousand and one, one thousand and two’. You should take the full two seconds it takes to say this to reach the object. If you get there before you have said it, you are too close.
Slow down until you are at least two seconds behind the vehicle ahead.
Remember that this ‘two second rule’ is a guide to use in good road, traffic and weather conditions. If they are not good, increase your following distance to
four or five seconds.




Why do most young drivers speed?

• Drivers of all ages speed and the young drivers see this driving behaviour as the ‘norm’.
• Driving is more difficult that it looks, with many different tasks needing to be done at the same time. With all that is required to drive a car such as braking, steering, changing gears, looking out for hazards and applying the road rules, young drivers often do not notice the speed at which they are travelling. There are too many other things to worry about.
• Most young people have an exaggerated opinion of their driving ability. Once they can manoeuvre a car they think they can drive well. This overconfidence in their ability leads them to believe they can control any situations that may arise.
• Modern cars are built a bit like a comfy / lounge – good seats, a great sound system, air-conditioning, not much external noise. This quiet, comfortable ride insulates the driver from the clues that indicate that the car is going too fast – things like vibration and wind noise.
• Most journeys are made safely and free of problems – so there are rewards for speeding. The driver gets to their destination quicker and enjoys the drive along the way. Because they usually beat the odds of being in a crash or being caught tor speeding, they fail to recognise the real risk of this happening.
So the bottom line is – most young drivers speed because they underestimate the risks they are exposing themselves to. Even when they know that the odds of crashing increase when they speed, they still believe they can beat the odds.
Of course, many older people think exactly the same way.
Did you know? In a 60 km/h zone, travelling at:
• 65 km/h, you are twice as likely to have a serious crash
• 70 km/h, you are four times as likely to have a serious crash
• 75 km/h, you are 10 times as likely to have a serious crash
• 80 km/h, you are 32 times as likely to have a serious crash than if you drive at 60 km/h.
In rural out of town areas, travelling just 10 km/h faster than the average speed of other traffic you are twice as likely to have a serious crash.

Four reasons why your choice of speed is important.

1. You have less time to react to an emergency.
Imagine you are travelling at 70 km/h instead of 60 km/h, a pedestrian or another vehicle suddenly appears. Even before you have started to brake, at 70 km/h you will have travelled almost 3 metres more than the driver travelling at 60 km/h.
This decision making time, or reaction time, is the time it takes to recognise an emergency and then to brake.
Young drivers take longer than experienced drivers to even notice an emergency or a hazard, so travelling at a slower speed will help. A few kilometres per hour can make a big difference in seeing and reacting to an emergency.

Distance Travelled 1

2. It takes a longer time to come to a complete stop. A car travelling at 70 km/h will take around 57 metres to come to a complete stop after the driver first notices an emergency. The same car travelling at 60 km/h will take about 47 metres to stop. 10 metres is a lot of extra distance to travel in an emergency. Step it out sometime and see for yourself!

Distance Travelled 2
3. The faster you travel the harder you hit!
Think about this, Dropping a car from a three storey building is equivalent to crashing at 50 km/h. From a 12 storey building, it is about the same as crashing at 100 km/h. You would be much more likely to survive the 50 km/h crash than the 100 km/h crash.

The Harder You Hit 1 The harder You Hit 2
4. You are more likely to have a serious crash.
Putting all this together, an extra 5 km/h travel speed can make the difference between a near miss and a bad crash. Just an extra 5 km/h can double your chances of having a casualty crash in a 60 km/h zone.
Speeding, What a sensation!
It may seem like fun but it is downright dangerous! The effects of speeding and being involved in a car crash can change your life forever.

Dry conditions:

The road is dry, you have a modern vehicle with good brakes and tyres, a child runs onto the road 45 metres ahead of you while you are travelling in a 60 km/h zone. You brake hard. Will you stop in time? If you were driving just 5 km/h over the speed limit, you won’t have time to stop and you will hit the child at over 30 km/h.

Stopping Distance 1

Wet conditions:

The road is wet; you have a modern vehicle with good brakes and tyres, a child runs onto the road 45 metres ahead of you while you are travelling in a 60 km/h zone, you brake hard- will you stop in time?
If a child steps onto the road 45 metres ahead, you will have to be driving under the speed limit to stop in time.
The faster you go the less time you have to see hazards, assess the risk and respond. Even though you may be a capable driver, extra speed always means it takes longer for the vehicle to stop. In wet conditions you should allow much more distance to stop than on a dry road.

Stopping Distance 2

The more distance you keep from other vehicles on the road, the better your chances are of avoiding a crash. All drivers make mistakes at times. If you stay 2-3 seconds behind the vehicle in front, you will have time to react to unexpected situations. You will also be a lot more visible to oncoming drivers and better positioned to see any vehicles ahead of the one in front of you.

Do you feel the pressure to go fast?

Don’t worry if others expect you to go fast, you are in control of the car and ultimately you are the one to face the consequences of speeding.

Can you afford the costs of speeding (points and licence loss, $$s and injury)?

Even if you don’t crash or get fined, higher speeds and hard acceleration will cost you extra money every time you fill your petrol tank. Next time you see a person speeding in and out of traffic, check out where they are at the next change of lights or intersection, chances are they are beside you. Speeding can really only save you a few seconds or minutes in a total journey – so it’s not worth the risk.

Annoyed that someone has pushed into the gap that you have left between you and the next car?

Just make another gap. It’s cheaper and less hassle than crashing into their car.

Speeding in an urban area is as dangerous as driving with an illegal blood alcohol concentration.
In a 60 km/h zone, even travelling at 5 km/h above the limit increases your chances of having a serious crash as much as driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0,05.
Speeding – It’s not worth the risk!

Driving Assessments, Bunbury and the South West

Driving Assessments, Bunbury and the South West

With the ever increasing difficulty in obtaining a Driving Assessment booking in the South West, it’s very important that you don’t waste the opportunity to pass your Driving Assessment by not being fully prepared. Before attempting your Driving Assessment, it would be wise to familiarise yourself with the area in which you will be assessed.
Most regional Licensing centres except Bunbury, only conduct Driving Assessments one day in a week. Therefore Licensing centres such as Harvey, Waroona, Donnybrook etc can have quite long waiting lists. This means that if you are not successful in passing your Driving Assessment, you could be waiting many weeks before another Driving Assessment is available for you. Bunbury is the easiest place to obtain a booking but Bunbury is not necessarily the easiest town to negotiate and can throw up some very tricky situations and surprises for the un-prepared driver.
Australind Driving School & Paul’s Driver Training, conduct Driving Assessments at Bunbury and Harvey with Donnybrook and Collie by appointment.
Bunbury Licensing centre conducts Driving Assessments on all five days of the week; therefore it is much easier to get a Driving Assessment booking in Bunbury.
Australind Driving School provides Driving Lessons in Australind, Bunbury, Harvey, Binningup, Myalup, Brunswick Junction, Roelands and all surrounding areas.

Why is it important to get plenty of driving practice?

If you want to become good at something you need to get plenty of practice – and in different conditions and times.

Learning a new skill

Think about this; learning to drive is like learning to play a sport – for example, tennis.

  • First, you develop an interest and find out the requirements to play the game (how old must you be to drive, who can teach you, what the basic rules are, etc.)
  • You find a good coach (the driving instructor) and someone to practice with (your parent or older friend).
  • You learn the basic skills (steering, braking, turning etc.) and practice at the local level.
  • As you improve, you begin to realise there is more to it than you first thought. You need to learn how to position yourself to have time and space to react to opposition players; how to anticipate what other players may do; and how to cope with different playing surfaces and conditions. (You practice driving on different roads and at different times and in different conditions).
  • After lots of lessons and practice you are ready for greater challengers (freeways, night time driving, wet weather).
  • Eventually, after even more practice,  you no longer need either your coach or your practice partner.
  • If your skills begin to slip, for example, your backhand or overhead lob (reversing, changing lanes), you take another couple of lessons.
Ask yourself this:

Can you become good a tennis without practicing? If you describe the game of tennis would you say it’s only about the way you use the racquet? Would you take up tennis and then compete in a big tournament after only a couple of lessons?

How much practice is enough when learning to drive?

Driving is more difficult than it first looks.  There is more to it than just handling the vehicle’s controls and maneuvering the car in and around the roads.  (These are called the physical skills of driving).

There are a lot of decisions to be made while driving like “Who has right of way here? Can I turn left from this lane?” and using the road rules. (These are called the cognitive or thinking skills of driving).

At the same time, you must look out for and manage unexpected hazards – such as other road users and changing weather conditions.  (These are called perceptual or detection skills).

It takes a long time too put all these skills together and be a good driver.  In fact, most road safety experts warn that you will need at least 120 hours of driving practice.  That sounds like a lot, but it is not that difficult to build up to this number of hours.  Most young people have their leaner licence for at least a year, and practicing 2-3 hours a week is achievable. Every time you are in the car your should be behind the steering wheel!  Even short trips to school, work or sport can quickly add up to become lots of experience.

It is important that over the learner period every possible type of driving experience is practiced .  The support – and extra set of eyes – that your supervisor can give during practice drives is invaluable.  Make sure that the first time you come up against a difficult driving situation isn’t when you are in the car on your own after gaining your “P” licence.

The most experience you get in the learner period the safer you will be when you are on your own!

You can download this post in pdf format below.

pdf Download 1

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Choosing the Right Driving Instructor

The information below will help you to choose a driving instructor who is right for you.

Because you will be spending your own or your parents hard earned dollars on driving lessons, you deserve an instructor who is right for you.

Find an instructor who inspires you, instills confidence and who you feel comfortable with.

A common mistake is to choose a driving instructor solely on the price of a driving lesson. Lesson price is only one factor to consider. Lots of cheap unplanned lessons can work out to be far more costly in the long run than fewer structured lessons if you don’t have an instructor who is right for you.


5 tips to discover the right Driving Instructor that is right for you.


  1. Firstly, check that you’re Driving Instructor is Qualified and holds a Western Australian Government Motor Vehicle Driving Instructor Licence and ask to see it.
  2. That you’re driving instructor has a documented, structured lesson plan and a progress report.
  3. If, at the end of a lesson you feel that you haven’t enjoyed the experience or that you have learned little or nothing, the chances are that the instructor is not right for you.
  4. Generally speaking, better qualified and experienced instructors will offer better value, reducing learning time and saving you money.
  5. Make sure that you are comfortable with your instructor and be prepared to change if you are not.

Some people learn to drive with friends and relatives; however it’s a good idea for all learners to have some lessons with a professional driving instructor before attempting the Practical Driving Assessment.

Everyone learns in different ways, but it is your instructor’s job to make your learning experience as enjoyable and easy as possible.

Remember, it’s your money! Make sure that you are happy with what you are paying for.

Australind Driving School
Australind Driving School

Roundabouts and Signalling for Western Australia

Roundabouts and Signalling for Western Australia

This information has been published as an easy-to-read guide to the WA Road Traffic Act (1974) and Road Traffic Code 2000. It is not intended to be a ‘legal document and for exact statements of the law you should refer to the Act and Code.
A complete version of the Road Traffic Act 1974 and Road Traffic Code 2000 may be obtained by visiting the State Law Publishers web site at: www.slp.wa.gov.au For more road safety information telephone 138 138 or visit www.ors.wa.gov.au


Roundabouts help regulate traffic at intersections. They increase safety by slowing the approach speed of all vehicles, thereby reducing the number and severity of crashes. Pedestrians should cross roads away from roundabouts because traffic flow through roundabouts is usually continuous making it difficult for pedestrians to cross safely.


Roundabouts are easy to use. Simply position your vehicle correctly and indicate where you want to go. The following basic principles apply to all roundabouts.
Keeping left
When driving around roundabouts you must keep left of the central island at all times. If you intend to change lanes in a roundabout then you must signal your intention to do so. However, it is safer to position your vehicle in the correct lane before you enter a roundabout so that you do not have to change lanes.

Giving way

At a roundabout, you must:
• Always travel in a clockwise direction; and
• When entering the roundabout, give way to all vehicles travelling within the roundabout. Remember that large vehicles such as buses and trucks may need more than one lane to enter or leave a roundabout.
Turning left at next exit
At a roundabout you must:
• Approach from the left lane;
• Indicate left;
• Stay in the left lane; and
• Exit in the left lane.
Driving straight through a roundabout
• You do not have to indicate when you are approaching the roundabout;
• Unless road markings or signs say otherwise, approach from either the left or right lane and drive in that lane throughout the roundabout;
• Signal left, if practicable, just after you have passed the last exit before the one you wish to use; and
• Exit in the same lane in which you entered (that is, in the left lane if you entered in the left lane and in the right lane if you entered in the right lane).
Turning right or making a ‘U’ turn
• When turning right or making a ‘U’ turn, approach from the right lane;
• Indicate right before entering the roundabout;
• Stay in the right lane; and
• Signal left, if practicable, just after you have passed the last exit before the one you wish to use.

Signs at roundabouts

Roundabouts are intersections where there is a central island around which vehicles travel in one direction. There is normally a Roundabout Sign at each entrance. Some roundabouts have more than one lane on approach roads and arrows on the road to let you know what direction you must travel through the roundabout. Some also have advance warning signs to warn you the roundabout is ahead. If there are arrows marked on the road surface you must drive in the direction they indicate.