Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

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Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby arkle » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:47 pm

Hello,

When we first pass our car, truck or motorcycle driving test we are required to learn and demonstrate a satisfactory knowledge of the basic laws and guidelines relating to the use of the road, footpaths and shared paths by motorised vehicles, bicycles, animals and pedestrians.

Over time new rules and guidelines are introduced and the existed rules are modified. The Road Rules handbooks are updated and republished to reflect the changes as deemed necessary.

In addition, our knowledge of the rules and guidelines that were in effect when we first took our test is gradually lost or mis-remembered or modified wrongly by incorrect peer beliefs.

The combined result is that the majority of road users are now either unaware of many of the current rules and guidelines, or worse, believe that they know the rules when they actually have them wrong.

My suggestion is that every road user should have to relearn and be retested on the current rules periodically, say every 10 years. This could be done as part of the driving licence renewal process. If you fail the theory test you shouldn't be using the roads, and your licence will not be renewed until you pass.

Thoughts?

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by BNA » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:59 pm

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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby gorilla monsoon » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:59 pm

You are way too soft. every three years and combine it with a practical driving test of about one hour's duration.
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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby jules21 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:39 pm

unnecessary. a friend of mine's late grandpa used to drive around in his ancient ute. he couldn't see rearwards, could barely see over the steering wheel and needed a wooden block fixed to the pedals to reach them. he would never have passed any test. but he never hit anyone either - he just drove slowly enough that others had time to account for his actions. he drove real slow.

it's long been known in road safety circles that driver attitude is a key determinant of safety, not skid control, nor knowledge of theory. this is one reason fines are justified for low level speeding - the driver may think they're Nuvolari - but that's the problem, not the solution. the roads get safer when everyone cools down and leaves a bit of space and shows patience.
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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby arkle » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:56 pm

jules21 wrote:unnecessary. a friend of mine's late grandpa used to drive around in his ancient ute. he couldn't see rearwards, could barely see over the steering wheel and needed a wooden block fixed to the pedals to reach them. he would never have passed any test. but he never hit anyone either - he just drove slowly enough that others had time to account for his actions. he drove real slow.

it's long been known in road safety circles that driver attitude is a key determinant of safety, not skid control, nor knowledge of theory. this is one reason fines are justified for low level speeding - the driver may think they're Nuvolari - but that's the problem, not the solution. the roads get safer when everyone cools down and leaves a bit of space and shows patience.


I agree, but the rules are important too. At the moment the only people with a full knowledge of the current rules are the P platers. To use a cycling example, how much better would it be if car drivers over the age of 40 all knew that we can claim the lane, do not have to ride in an unsafe bicycle lane, are allowed to ride two abreast, are not allowed to ride on footpaths etc.

Mmm jules21, without looking it up: when are, and when are you not, allowed to overtake someone on the inside lane when you're driving a car?

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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby jules21 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:00 pm

arkle wrote:I agree, but the rules are important too. At the moment the only people with a full knowledge of the current rules are the P platers.

well, it ain't working out very well for them!

arkle wrote:Mmm jules21, without looking it up: when are, and when are you not, allowed to overtake someone on the inside lane when you're driving a car?

technically, you can only overtake on their RHS, so what you've described is impossible ;)

despite that, it's OK when there is a separate, marked lane on their left. from experience, everyone seems to do it when the car is turning right or pulling a U-turn, but i couldn't quote the rule.

you can't undertake moving traffic otherwise.
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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby arkle » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:13 pm

jules21 wrote:
arkle wrote:I agree, but the rules are important too. At the moment the only people with a full knowledge of the current rules are the P platers.

well, it ain't working out very well for them!

arkle wrote:Mmm jules21, without looking it up: when are, and when are you not, allowed to overtake someone on the inside lane when you're driving a car?

technically, you can only overtake on their RHS, so what you've described is impossible ;)

despite that, it's OK when there is a separate, marked lane on their left. from experience, everyone seems to do it when the car is turning right or pulling a U-turn, but i couldn't quote the rule.

you can't undertake moving traffic otherwise.


No, it depends on the speed limit... it's legal below a certain posted speed limit but illegal above - you should look it up! :)

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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby gorilla monsoon » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:51 pm

jules21 wrote:unnecessary. a friend of mine's late grandpa used to drive around in his ancient ute. he couldn't see rearwards, could barely see over the steering wheel and needed a wooden block fixed to the pedals to reach them. he would never have passed any test. but he never hit anyone either - he just drove slowly enough that others had time to account for his actions. he drove real slow.

it's long been known in road safety circles that driver attitude is a key determinant of safety, not skid control, nor knowledge of theory. this is one reason fines are justified for low level speeding - the driver may think they're Nuvolari - but that's the problem, not the solution. the roads get safer when everyone cools down and leaves a bit of space and shows patience.


Attitude is simply part of the equation Jules. And your friend's grandfather should not have been allowed on the road. Didn't have any incidents, probably caused a lot though.

And do you mean "road safety circles" as in government beauracracies or "road safety circles" as in those who deal with it at the coal face, like Russell White's Fatality free Friday mob in Brisbane? There is a vast difference between the two.
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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby high_tea » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:31 pm

arkle wrote:
jules21 wrote:
arkle wrote:I agree, but the rules are important too. At the moment the only people with a full knowledge of the current rules are the P platers.

well, it ain't working out very well for them!

arkle wrote:Mmm jules21, without looking it up: when are, and when are you not, allowed to overtake someone on the inside lane when you're driving a car?

technically, you can only overtake on their RHS, so what you've described is impossible ;)

despite that, it's OK when there is a separate, marked lane on their left. from experience, everyone seems to do it when the car is turning right or pulling a U-turn, but i couldn't quote the rule.

you can't undertake moving traffic otherwise.


No, it depends on the speed limit... it's legal below a certain posted speed limit but illegal above - you should look it up! :)

arkle

Can you please cite the rule which imposes this speed limit?
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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby wombatK » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:05 pm

arkle wrote:The combined result is that the majority of road users are now either unaware of many of the current rules and guidelines, or worse, believe that they know the rules when they actually have them wrong.

My suggestion is that every road user should have to relearn and be retested on the current rules periodically, say every 10 years.

Anyone can make suggestions, but for them to have any merit you've got to show that there is a benefit that
outweighs the cost.

So far you've made a sweeping statement about the knowledge of the majority of road users.
That needs to be substantiated. Have you got some survey results, or this just a wild guess ?

Then you need to show a connection between any knowledge deficiency and costs such as road toll, trauma and injury costs. For example, how many people are killed because a motorist doesn't know a particular road rule ? If a motorist
kills himself and a few others in a head-on crash, how will you work out if he just didn't know that rule about keeping left,
or whether he just recklessly ignored it on this occasion ?

I've never heard road safety experts make such a claim, and would be inclined to think that if it was a significant factor, it would be common knowledge. Road safety experts are never shy about banging on about what causes accidents etc.,.

Then you've got to make a connection between any tests and the "many" of the current rules. That is, prove that the test will be comprehensive and long enough to prove everyone has learned all the rules. How many hours will such a test take, and what cost will it be ? Not just to the administrators, but to everyone who's got to take time off work to do the test.

If you had responsibility for the safety of 300-odd souls seated in back of your plane, jetting about at 700 kph plus,
there might be a need for the kind of testing regime you're thinking of. But I'm having a real hard time seeing that
car drivers should be treated the same.

I imagine that to be consistent, you'd want the same to apply to cyclist too. Would you apply this to 10 year olds,
15 year olds ? or what ? Unless your evidence shows cyclists are never killed or injured from lack of knowledge of road rules.
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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:23 pm

jules21 wrote:the driver may think they're Nuvolari


High five for saying Nuvolari and not some modern pansy :) .


I agree that there is a woeful lack of understanding/knowledge of road rules and I think that's at least in part due to the disgusting lack of regard for the responsibility involved in driving. IMO making the licencing system a LOT more rigorous, frequent practical and theory testing, and more meaningful testing (when I did my test, which only lasted about 20mins, I didn't even need to do a reverse park for heaven's sake) should eventually change the public perception of driving as something that anyone is entitled to do, to a serious task that you should earn the right to undertake.
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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby Howzat » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:08 am

arkle, I think the idea a brief refresher theory test on road rules has some merit. Perhaps to be required on renewal for drivers who have had a traffic infringement notice?

Practical testing or training would come at considerable cost. But a quick theory test on road rules would get drivers studying up, maybe le-learning a thing or two that got lost in the cobwebs of time, and at not much more cost or time that licence renewals take now.

wombatK wrote:I imagine that to be consistent, you'd want the same to apply to cyclist too

No, apply it to drivers only - because of the elevated risks to others that come with piloting 2000kg of metal at high speeds on public roads.
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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby RonK » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:07 am

Howzat wrote:
wombatK wrote:I imagine that to be consistent, you'd want the same to apply to cyclist too

No, apply it to drivers only - because of the elevated risks to others that come with piloting 2000kg of metal at high speeds on public roads.

So, we already have some here who post that cyclists don't need to obey the road rules, now it seems you are suggesting cyclists don't even need to know them. :roll:
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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby Ozkaban » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:18 am

My feeling is that it would be beneficial as road rules change and people become rusty. Or they start off and remain completely ignorant of certain sections of the rules (ie, how to deal with bikes on the road).

You could also make a rule where if you've lost more than x points (say, half the license) in the last 3 years then you need to pass a knowledge test to renew it. Could be the same knowledge test as an L plater.
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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby Summernight » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:55 am

Ronk wrote:
Howzat wrote:
wombatK wrote:I imagine that to be consistent, you'd want the same to apply to cyclist too

No, apply it to drivers only - because of the elevated risks to others that come with piloting 2000kg of metal at high speeds on public roads.



So, we already have some here who post that cyclists don't need to obey the road rules, now it seems you are suggesting cyclists don't even need to know them. :roll:


Playing devil's advocate here - cyclists don't need to get a licence to hop on a bicycle and ride on the road (nor does one need to learn the road rules to be a pedestrian or to ride a horse on the road). So how would you know whether a cyclist needed to do a refresher course on the road rules or not? You wouldn't know who was a cyclist and who wasn't unless someone was stationed at a street corner and pulled cyclists up and asked them whether they'd done a refresher course.

The same counter argument to the registration of cyclists and the furphy regarding a cyclist 'paying to use the road' could apply here - if most cyclists also have a driver's licence then if the knowledge test is mandatory to renew your licence then they will also get the refresher course as a cyclist at the same time.

I think a refresher road rule course every few years has merit. I believe there is discussion (at least here in VIC) that people over a certain age should have mandatory driving tests every few years (not just knowledge tests). At the moment from what I understand the only way to get someone to lose their licence if you think they are a danger on the road after a certain age (but they haven't crashed yet) is to dob them in - which has caused tension in families when the adult children don't think their mother/father should be driving anymore and have dobbed them into police to get them tested (and they subsequently lose their licence).
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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby gorilla monsoon » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:33 pm

Good point, Summer, but how do you test any rider under the age of 17 who does not yet have a valid driver's licence - or an adult who simply never bothered/didn't need to learn how to drive?
You can't test for something that does not exist so just car/motorcycle/truck licence re-testing I think.
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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby jules21 » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:42 pm

Summernight wrote:I think a refresher road rule course every few years has merit. I believe there is discussion (at least here in VIC) that people over a certain age should have mandatory driving tests every few years (not just knowledge tests).

I agree. the statistics are clear that risks increase sharply with age (from memory, from 75 yrs, the risk curve heads skyward). but this has little to do with road rules knowledge - it's linked to deterioration in hazard perception performance. the challenge has always been in setting a standard for hazard perception - it's no secret that oldies get worse in this respect - but where is the threshold?

it's a bit like speed limits - it's hard to argue that 60 km/h is safe, but 61 km/h is not. but you need to draw a line in the sand somewhere. no one's had the courage to do that for oldies, as yet. they would be out on the streets, busting stuff up :D
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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby jules21 » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:51 pm

gorilla monsoon wrote: Attitude is simply part of the equation Jules. And your friend's grandfather should not have been allowed on the road. Didn't have any incidents, probably caused a lot though.

I agree he probably shouldn't have been on the road, but my point stands - the importance of road rules knowledge and driving skills can be significantly overrated. most of the p-platers who have parked their cars into tree trunks undoubtedly knew a lot more rules than that old bloke - didn't help them.
gorilla monsoon wrote: And do you mean "road safety circles" as in government beauracracies or "road safety circles" as in those who deal with it at the coal face, like Russell White's Fatality free Friday mob in Brisbane? There is a vast difference between the two.

no idea who Russell White is, but I've worked with govt and academic road safety experts. it's fun to mock them, but they know what they are doing, for the most part. my experience with grassroots campaigners is that they tend to be well-meaning, but pretty low on knowledge. Australia's road safety performance is first-rate, compared with most of the rest of the world.
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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby jules21 » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:53 pm

arkle wrote:No, it depends on the speed limit... it's legal below a certain posted speed limit but illegal above - you should look it up! :)

why? I've been driving (well, less and less) for decades and haven't had an issue with that type of manoeuvre, to date. has ignorance of the precise rule made me a danger to myself and others? I think not. common sense and going with the flow seems to have been sufficient.
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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby uppo75 » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:43 pm

arkle wrote:
jules21 wrote:
arkle wrote:I agree, but the rules are important too. At the moment the only people with a full knowledge of the current rules are the P platers.

well, it ain't working out very well for them!

arkle wrote:Mmm jules21, without looking it up: when are, and when are you not, allowed to overtake someone on the inside lane when you're driving a car?

technically, you can only overtake on their RHS, so what you've described is impossible ;)

despite that, it's OK when there is a separate, marked lane on their left. from experience, everyone seems to do it when the car is turning right or pulling a U-turn, but i couldn't quote the rule.

you can't undertake moving traffic otherwise.


No, it depends on the speed limit... it's legal below a certain posted speed limit but illegal above - you should look it up! :)

arkle



You can legally over take on the left and speed has nothing to do with it.

http://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGIS ... RURR09.pdf rule 141

In Double lanes- anytime you want( as long as it's safe)
single lane- if they are turning right or
or the vehicle is stopped (and it is safe)


My pet hate: Undertaking!!!! it is when you commit to do something or what someone does with a dead body.(undertaker) if you are going past them it's overtaking
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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby high_tea » Wed May 01, 2013 7:52 am

uppo75 wrote:
arkle wrote:No, it depends on the speed limit... it's legal below a certain posted speed limit but illegal above - you should look it up! :)

arkle



You can legally over take on the left and speed has nothing to do with it.

<a class="vglnk" title="Link added by VigLink" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/T/TrantOpRURR09.pdf"><span>http</span><span>://</span><span>www</span><span>.</span><span>legislation</span><span>.</span><span>qld</span><span>.</span><span>gov</span><span>.</span><span>au</span><span>/</span><span>LEGISLTN</span><span>/</span><span>CURRENT</span><span>/</span><span>T</span><span>/</span><span>TrantOpRURR09</span><span>.</span><span>pdf</span></a> rule 141

In Double lanes- anytime you want( as long as it's safe)
single lane- if they are turning right or
or the vehicle is stopped (and it is safe)


My pet hate: Undertaking!!!! it is when you commit to do something or what someone does with a dead body.(undertaker) if you are going past them it's overtaking


That's roughly my understanding so, so I repeat the question: where do speed limits come into this?

It really bugs me when this sort of vague claim comes up and there is no attempt to substantiate it with reference to statute or case law, even when it's asked for.

The irony of this happening in a thread proposing a formal exam about the Road Rules isn't lost on me either.
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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby r2160 » Wed May 01, 2013 8:32 am

The problem is that we already have the rules we need. And people already know they are breaking those road rules. And it doesnt help when you have police that only seem to want to book people for speeding.

In order for the rules to matter, the police need to enforce ALL the rules, not the ones that are politically motivated.

Then again, you also need police that arent biased towards/against any particular road user.

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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby arkle » Wed May 01, 2013 9:14 am

high_tea wrote:
uppo75 wrote:
arkle wrote:No, it depends on the speed limit... it's legal below a certain posted speed limit but illegal above - you should look it up! :)

arkle



You can legally over take on the left and speed has nothing to do with it.

<a class="vglnk" title="Link added by VigLink" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/T/TrantOpRURR09.pdf"><span>http</span><span>://</span><span>www</span><span>.</span><span>legislation</span><span>.</span><span>qld</span><span>.</span><span>gov</span><span>.</span><span>au</span><span>/</span><span>LEGISLTN</span><span>/</span><span>CURRENT</span><span>/</span><span>T</span><span>/</span><span>TrantOpRURR09</span><span>.</span><span>pdf</span></a> rule 141

In Double lanes- anytime you want( as long as it's safe)
single lane- if they are turning right or
or the vehicle is stopped (and it is safe)


My pet hate: Undertaking!!!! it is when you commit to do something or what someone does with a dead body.(undertaker) if you are going past them it's overtaking


That's roughly my understanding so, so I repeat the question: where do speed limits come into this?

It really bugs me when this sort of vague claim comes up and there is no attempt to substantiate it with reference to statute or case law, even when it's asked for.

The irony of this happening in a thread proposing a formal exam about the Road Rules isn't lost on me either.


Hehe the irony was intentional. Overtaking on the left is fine on multi-lane roads. If there are two lanes and the speed limit is 80km/h or less, cars can drive in either lane and you can overtake them in either lane. If the speed limit is greater than 80km/h, cars are automatically legally required to drive in the left lane unless they are overtaking on the right or turning. If you're overtaking on the left on a two lane road in a 90km/h limit, something illegal is happening.

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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby The 2nd Womble » Wed May 01, 2013 9:58 am

gorilla monsoon wrote:You are way too soft. every three years and combine it with a practical driving test of about one hour's duration.

+1 and then some. Yes many flaunt any rule regardless of their knowledge of it. Others are simply blissfully unaware. How often do we see or hear comments from motorists that those bloody cyclists were riding two abreast? And that's a road rule that's generational, not new.
A large number of open licensed motorists IMO would be able study for and pass a theory test, but would fail a practical test before they even left the Department carl park with their assessor.
A one time test for a lifetime of driving with constantly changing laws and roads is next to neglect by our authorities.
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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby gorilla monsoon » Wed May 01, 2013 12:36 pm

jules21 wrote:
gorilla monsoon wrote: Attitude is simply part of the equation Jules. And your friend's grandfather should not have been allowed on the road. Didn't have any incidents, probably caused a lot though.

I agree he probably shouldn't have been on the road, but my point stands - the importance of road rules knowledge and driving skills can be significantly overrated. most of the p-platers who have parked their cars into tree trunks undoubtedly knew a lot more rules than that old bloke - didn't help them.
gorilla monsoon wrote: And do you mean "road safety circles" as in government beauracracies or "road safety circles" as in those who deal with it at the coal face, like Russell White's Fatality free Friday mob in Brisbane? There is a vast difference between the two.

no idea who Russell White is, but I've worked with govt and academic road safety experts. it's fun to mock them, but they know what they are doing, for the most part. my experience with grassroots campaigners is that they tend to be well-meaning, but pretty low on knowledge. Australia's road safety performance is first-rate, compared with most of the rest of the world.


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Re: Suggestion: Compulsory periodic road theory tests

Postby The 2nd Womble » Wed May 01, 2013 1:07 pm

Please show me those figures, preferably in addition to our international ranking. There's a new Bentley Continental GT in it for you.
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