NSW Learner Drivers Demerit Point System

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NOT EVERYBODY UNDERSTANDS THE DEMERIT POINTS SYSTEM FOR LEARNER DRIVERS AND WE’RE HERE TO CLEAR IT UP.

In NSW, there are special conditions placed on learner drivers to ensure their safety. Some of these restrictions include the maximum speed limit of 90km/h and to be supervised at all times by the holder of a full Australian driver licence.
As well as this, learner drivers in NSW also experience the demerit points scheme.
This might seem counterintuitive at first because safe driving habits aren’t well-defined for learner drivers especially when they’ve just started. But if there weren’t these rules in place then learner drivers can commit all the driving offences they want without any negative reinforcement.

How Demerit Points Work In NSW

It’s commonly believed that you start with demerit points and you lose points for poor driving behaviour. But it’s actually the other way around where you start with zero demerit points and you gain points for driving offences.
In fact, this isn’t just the case in NSW but it’s the case everywhere in Australia.
If you go over a certain amount of demerit points, you could lose your licence or permit.
In NSW, if a learner driver accumulates over 4 demerit points in a three-year period, the licence will be suspended for three months.

Learners Are Severely Punished For Speeding

Speeding is a controversial offence because it can happen by accident. Regardless, speeding is extremely dangerous and it’s easy to be careless with how fast you’re going — which is why there’s heavy negative reinforcement for learner drivers who are going past the speed limit.
Any speeding offence will incur a minimum of 4 demerit points — harsh but necessary.
As a consequence, any learner driver that commits a speeding offence will immediately lose their licence for at least three months — this is implemented so learner drivers learn how to drive at safe and legal speeds.
Furthermore, if a learner exceeds the speed limit by more than 30km/h, an additional three-month suspension is added on and an additional six-months for speeding more than 45km/h.
Suspension and confiscation of learner licences at roadsides for speeding over 30km/h can occur instantly if combined with driving without a supervisor.

Getting Too Many Demerit Points

If you accumulate too many demerit points, you will receive a suspension or refusal notice. This means that your learner licence has now been suspended. While your licence is suspended, it is illegal for you to drive. You’re not able to drive any motor vehicle.
However, you do have the right to appeal the suspension.
To lodge an appeal, you must apply no later than 28 days after you receive your notice. The law provides that a notice is deemed to be received four days after the date the notice is posted.
That means from the time the notice is posted you have 32 days to lodge an appeal.
If an appeal is accepted by a court past this time, Roads and Maritime cannot record the appeal and you remain suspended.

Further Understanding Demerit Points

While these rules may seem relentless and harsh, we recommend taking them as motivation to become a safe driver. After all, it’s safer to know that dangerous drivers are off the road so that everyone can be safe.
If you have any questions about how demerit points work, feel free to contact LTrent for further questions.
 
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VIC Learner Drivers Demerit Point System

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EVERY STATE HAS IT’S OWN SPECIFIC RULES FOR LEARNER DRIVERS AND THE DEMERIT POINTS THEY INCUR. THESE ARE THE RULES IN VICTORIA.

Demerit points are part of the system because it encourages safe driving and punishes you for poor driving behaviours. It works because if you commit driving offences, you’ll accumulate the appropriate demerit points.
At first glance, this seems inappropriate for learner drivers — after all, safe driving habits aren’t well-defined yet and you’re still learning how to drive. On the other hand, it’s easy to understand that Learner drivers do need demerit points otherwise they can commit all the driving offences they want without consequence.
So yes, Victoria does have demerit points with learner drivers.
 

How Demerit Points Work In Victoria

It’s commonly believed that you start with demerit points and you lose points for poor driving behaviour. But it’s actually the other way around where you start with zero demerit points and you gain points for driving offences.
In fact, this isn’t just the case in Victoria but it’s the case everywhere in Australia.
Of course, not every driving offence is the same. Speeding a little over the speed limit is a completely different offence from driving while heavily intoxicated.
If you go over a certain amount of demerit points, you could lose your licence or permit.
For those with a learner permit only this number is relevant:

  • 5 points in a 12 month period OR
  • 12 points in a 3 year period

 

Getting Too Many Demerit Points

If you go over the above amount of points, VicRoads will send you a demerit point notice stating that your licence will be suspended.
The amount of time it’s suspended depends on how many points you get. Your suspension will last 3 months with an additional month for every 4 extra points on your notice.
However, you are able to elect to extend your demerit point period — which will force you to commit to even safer driving behaviour otherwise you’ll receive an even longer suspension period.
If you do choose to extend and if you get any more points in the next 12 months your licence will be suspended for twice as long.
 

Next Steps After Suspension

While your licence or permit is suspended, it is illegal for you to drive. You’re not able to drive any motor vehicle.
This not only applies to Victoria, but you’ll also be unable to drive anywhere in Australia or overseas or you could accrue a fine, imprisonment or loss of your vehicle and vehicle insurance.
You’ll also need to return your licence or permit to VicRoads within 7 days or risk a fine or prosecution.
 

Understanding Demerit Points

While these rules may seem relentless and harsh, we recommend taking them as motivation to become a safe driver. After all, it’s safer to know that dangerous drivers are off the road so that everyone can be safe.
If you have any questions about how demerit points work, feel free to contact Ltrent for further questions.
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LTrent Melbourne Driving School Is Ready To Teach You

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AUSTRALIA’S TOP DRIVING SCHOOL IS IN MELBOURNE AND WE’RE READY TO HELP YOU BECOME A SAFER DRIVER.

LTrent has had great success in NSW for the past 50 years. We’ve taught over 300,000 satisfied students and now we’re bringing the same unique driving experience to Melbourne.
This year, we came to Melbourne. We’ve already done our research on the differences between driving in VIC and NSW and we’ve created a curriculum specifically for making sure that you become the best driver you can be on the roads of Melbourne.
What’s more important is that we’re bringing our 50 years of driving expertise to Melbourne — and we’re certainly experienced in taking our brains and putting them into our students.
 

Customised Curriculum Just For Melbourne

We understand that some of you might just want to pass the driving test. And we’ve developed a curriculum for VIC that will help you do that. But our curriculum isn’t just built to help you pass an exam.
Our curriculum includes a Learn To Drive Handbook and a Student Record Card with 54 competencies of safe driving.
We make sure that you’re competent in every single one of the safe driving habits we’ve discovered were the most important for a learner driver. Every lesson is dedicated to improving on what you need help with the most — with the ultimate goal of turning you into a well-rounded driver that not only can tackle the driving test but any driving situation.
We’ve already experienced superb results in NSW and we hope to bring our adjusted curriculum to Melbourne and begin transforming you into a successful driver.
 

We Train The Trainers

LTrent isn’t just good at knowing the road rules and how to drive well. We’re Australia’s leading educator of driver trainers. We not only get the best instructors we can, but we make them even better.
We’ve brought our training program to Melbourne and have made sure that every single one of our instructors are well-versed in handling all situations with students.
We make sure that not only do they know how to help you pass your driving test and be a safe driver afterwards, but we also make sure that they know how to transfer their knowledge and habits into their students so that you can become a safe driver too.
 

Our Students Pass The Driving Test On The First Go

In NSW, LTrent students have a 28% higher chance of passing the driving test on the first try.
We want to bring our same approach to passing the driving test to Melbourne and bring even better results. We strive to make all of our students to pass the test with flying colours.
Our instructors set a goal date for your test and prepare you accordingly to work towards that date. Along with intentionally practicing your weak spots on driving, we also conduct practice tests at the point where we feel that you’re ready.
 

Let’s Start Together!

At LTrent, we understand that every person has their own set of responsibilities and an entire life outside of driving. That’s why we adapt to your schedule and are flexible with it.
You can choose whatever location to start at and finish at — whether it’s home, school or the office, we’re happy to accommodate.
We make it extremely easy to book with our online booking system that is accessible 24/7. Checking your lesson times and payments are as easy as going to your online profile.
Book a lesson today!
 
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Why Do I Need 120 Hours To Take A Driving Test?
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Why Your Night Driving Logbook Hours Are Important

Why Do I Need 120 Logbook Hours To Take A Driving Test?

RECORDING HOURS IN YOUR LOGBOOK NOT ONLY WILL PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR DRIVING TEST, BUT WILL MAKE YOU A SAFER DRIVER.

So you finally have your Learner’s licence and you’re excited to finally drive. But you can’t drive alone yet. You need a supervisor.
In fact, you need 120 hours of supervised driving until you’re able to finally drive independently.
It’s daunting and kind of overwhelming isn’t it?
But we hope that if you understood why you need the whole 120 logbook hours to take a driving test, it’ll bring you some clarity.
 

Practice Makes Perfect

One thing you should know is that even though P-Plate drivers do the 120 driving hours, they’re still more likely to crash. In fact, they’re 30 times more likely to crash and 3 times more likely to be injured or killed in the crash.
And that’s even though they’ve practiced hour after hour. It’s why there are restrictions on P-Platers such as the inability to make calls on Bluetooth or loud speaker and only being able to drive at a certain speed limit.
It might sound obvious, but practicing more reduces your chance of crashing. Practicing driving more establishes safe driving habits because of the amount of repetition you’ll be doing.
You know how when you wake up, you go straight to the bathroom to start brushing your teeth? Or when you’re hungry, you immediately start thinking about all the different ways you can get food?
That’s how you know a habit has stuck.
 

We Put These Habits Into Your Driving

At LTrent, we want driving habits to stick to you the way the other habits in your life have stuck to you.
When you start driving, you might find that if you wanted to turn or slow down that you would have to think about it first. It’s only through driving more and more that you’ll be able to do these actions automatically.
We want you to start slowing down as soon as you see a red light, not once you’ve noticed you’re too close. We want you to be checking your mirrors and your blind spots as soon as you want to change lanes instead of panicking and not knowing what to do.
We don’t just want our drivers to be able to pass an exam. We want them to be safe on the road. We want their safe driving habits to be so intuitive that they’ll be executed immediately and appropriately without thinking.
But the amount of hours of driving isn’t the only factor that puts these habits into your driving. After all, you actually have to practice these habits.
You have to be put into situations where you’ll need to implement these habits.
Our instructors are taught to place students into situations where they can practice all of the safe driving habits not just required to pass the driving test but to also drive safely on the road.
And as you can already understand, doing these habits over and over again will make them truly automatic.
If you need help getting your driving hours up we have a few tips for you.
 
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What Do I Do If I Lose My Logbook?

log book
You’ve been driving for a while now. In fact, you’ve almost completed the 120 logbook hours required to take a driving test. And you’re mentally ready too.
You’ve had some lessons with our LTrent instructors and they’ve told you that you’re ready to take the driving test and finally drive alone.
But you have a problem.
You lost your logbook.

Losing your logbook

We’ve written about the differences between having a physical and digital logbook here, but one thing we didn’t mention about physical logbooks was that it was possible to lose them.
Most people won’t lose them. But sometimes things happen. You might’ve washed it by accident, left it in someone else’s car or maybe even the family dog ate it.
Nevertheless, you’re in this horrible situation where you don’t have the logbook which you recorded all your driving hours in.
The one thing you shouldn’t do is to show up to your driving test telling them that you lost your logbook.

What to do after you lost your logbook

Sadly, there isn’t much you can do if you lose your logbook. You can sign up for a new one over here and inform the RMS about your situation. Keep in mind that there’s not much you can do about it.
Luckily, if you’ve been a student of LTrent, you can easily get all the hours you’ve done with us back. We keep a digital log of every single one of our lessons and we can easily transfer the lessons you’ve done with us onto a new logbook.
This is another advantage of using LTrent — we record every single lesson so that if anything does happen to your logbook, we’re able to help you with it.

Preventing loss

This is one of those situations where some people might mock you for losing something so important. But we know that’s unhelpful. Bad things happen for no particular reason sometimes and this is one of them.
Certainly, you didn’t try to lose your logbook. Regardless, if you’re worried about losing your logbook we have a few tips for you.
You can photocopy or take photos of your logbook every time you fill in a page just in case something happens to your logbook.
Another precaution you can take is to always keep it in the same place, for example, the car, so you can avoid losing it or getting it damaged (unless someone breaks into your car and decides to take your logbook).
Keeping it in the same place also ensures that you always know where your logbook is.

Book Lessons With LTrent Today!

Check out our other blogs
Should I Record Logbook Hours With My Parents Or An Instructor?
Why Your Night Driving Logbook Hours Are Important
4 Tips To Quickly Get Your Logbook Hours Up

Should I Record Logbook Hours With My Parents Or An Instructor?

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DRIVING WITH YOUR PARENTS AND DRIVING WITH AN INSTRUCTOR MIGHT SEEM TO BE THE SAME BUT HAVE MANY DIFFERENCES.

You’re a beginner at driving and want to learn how to drive a new car. Or maybe you just want to pass your driving test so you can finally drive without supervision.
But you need to do a total of 120 logbook hours to be permitted to take the driving test. You’re going to need someone to teach you.
The two most popular supervisors that people use are parents and instructors. We’re going to be looking at the differences between the two.
 

Driving With Parents

There are several benefits to driving with parents. You might feel more comfortable with them and the option might be more flexible to your schedule.
But the main benefit of driving with parents is cost. Driving instructors cost money and it seems like a perfect way to save money to drive with your parents.
Of course, there are issues with learning to drive with parents. Your parents weren’t formally taught the road rules and might not be up to date with traffic laws.
They might intuitively know how to drive, but teaching it is a whole other story.
We found that parents have a good chance of passing on bad driving habits onto their children.
The British School of Motoring found that the top 5 of these habits were:

  • Forgetting to check mirrors
  • Crossing hands while steering
  • Speeding
  • Tailgating too close
  • Answering phones while driving

On top of this, we found that parents were less rational and overprotective of their children. It’s common for learners to mention that they experience yelling with their parents and that it caused the driving experience to be scary and uncomfortable.
Despite this, parents still have their place in teaching driving — especially if you’ve already logged some hours with an instructor and have become a better driver.
 

Driving With An Instructor

Naturally, at LTrent we recommend using a driving instructor to do as many hours as possible.
LTrent’s students have a 28% higher chance of passing the driving test than the NSW average. This is achieved by learning the Trent Method and passing the Trent On Road Test.
The first reason to use a driving instructor is that you’re able to get 3 hours for every hour with a driving instructor — capping at 30 logbook hours or 10 hours of driving.
This is extremely time efficient as it’ll save you 20 hours of driving than if you did all your hours with your parents. Not only that, you’re guaranteed to get an instructor that not only cares about helping you pass your driving test but helping you become a safer driver.
After all, that’s why our students are so successful.
In general, driving with an instructor has many benefits beyond helping you get your logbook hours up.
Instructors teach driving for a living. They’re well-versed in every single mistake that a learner can make, they’re up to date with all the road rules and traffic laws and they know how they can transfer their knowledge onto you because they’ve done it more than just a few times.
Beyond this, driving instructors are able to remain impartial in their judgement and you surely won’t have them yelling at you for making mistakes and are guaranteed a calmer experience.
Book your lesson with us today!
 
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Why Your Night Driving Logbook Hours Are Important
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Why Your Night Driving Logbook Hours Are Important

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RECORDING NIGHT DRIVING HOURS IN YOUR LOGBOOK WILL NOT ONLY PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR DRIVING TEST, BUT WILL MAKE YOU A SAFER DRIVER.

Every learner driver needs to record 120 hours of driving in their logbook. Of these 120 hours, a minimum of 20 hours must be done at night time.
The first thing that comes to mind might be why you even need to drive at night. Becoming skilled at night driving is important because driving at night is simply — more difficult.
The most obvious difficulty is the fact that it’s harder to see. It’s easy to brush this off with a simple solution of turning your headlights on so you can see, but it isn’t quite as simple as that.
After all, P1 drivers are 6 to 7 times more likely to crash at night time.
There are less visual clues when you’re driving at night and consequently, it’s more difficult to see people, bikes and obstacles. Not only that, but the fact that there are other cars with headlights on means that you can be dazzled — reducing your focus.
Getting used to the night-time environment while driving takes some time and practice.
Here are some tips for night time driving to help you record your logbook hours safely. The last thing you want to happen is to have an accident before you even take your driving test.

Tips To Stay Safe At Night

  • Make sure all your lights are working including your front, rear, brake lights and high beam
  • If it’s getting dark, make sure to turn your headlights on — a good rule of thumb is to turn your lights on if street lights are on
  • You must keep your headlights on low beam if a vehicle ahead of you is within 200 metres
  • If you are dazzled by another car’s headlights slow down
  • Fatigue is common at night so if you experience tiredness, make sure to take a break

 

When To Drive At Night

We wrote about tips to get your logbook hours here. One thing we discussed was creating a routine to drive consistently so you can experience constantly recording logbook hours.
This is applicable to night driving where you can make sure you go driving after dinner when it’s dark.
Of course, if this isn’t convenient for you, then you can find your own routine and a time that suits you. The most important thing you can do to improve your night driving is to simply do it.
We like to use the analogy that you can’t learn to drive a car by reading a book about it. While we can give you tips and tricks on how to stay safe, it’s up to you to put in the hours.
Being able to consistently drive at night will greatly improve your skill and confidence in night driving and you’ll be able to log the night hours required to take the driving test.
If you want to learn more about night driving, make sure to book a driving lesson  with one of LTrent’s instructors. We’re committed to making sure that you drive safely as well as educating you both in the theory and practice of night driving.

Check out our other blogs
4 Tips To Quickly Get Your Logbook Hours Up
Why You Shouldn’t You Fake Your Logbook Hours?
What’s The Best Car For A Learner Driver?

Should I Record My Logbook Hours On Paper Or Digitally?

THERE ARE BENEFITS TO BOTH PAPER AND DIGITAL VERSIONS OF THE LOGBOOK. HERE ARE OUR THOUGHTS ON WHICH ONE TO USE.

We live in an age of increasing digitisation. Technology has slowly crept into every part of our lives. Whether it’s for the better or the worse, it has taken the logbook with it.
It’s a huge change for learner drivers because the logbook is an important part of keeping track of their driving progress and an indicator of how many more hours are required to be completed before taking a driving test.
Learner drivers now have the option to record their 120 hours digitally. There are three apps available for this — Licence Ready, Roundtrip and L2P which you’re also able to submit electronically with the RMS.
This introduction of more logbook recording options begs the question:
‘Is it better to record my logbook hours on paper or digitally?’
And of course, with the introduction of any technology, the debate over whether the digital version is worth it isn’t so simple. There are certainly benefits towards both.

Pen and paper

With the ever-increasing use of technology, the use of pen and paper has declined. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its place in the world. In fact, if you received a handwritten letter from someone it would be incredibly special and sentimental.
That’s because writing on paper feels more authentic than typing into an app. It’s the difference between talking to someone in real life and talking to someone over social media.
While talking to someone over social media is efficient and provides autonomy in when you want to respond, it doesn’t feel nearly as authentic. This is the same case between writing on paper and typing on an app.
A huge benefit of keeping a paper logbook is that you’re more easily able to see the hours you’ve done. And not only that, it’s much easier for your parents to see the hours you’ve done.
Instead of having to navigate through an app, they can simply flip through pages.
There’s a reason that even with the introduction of the Kindle, many people still swear by paper books. When the information is right there in front of you manifested in its physical form, it’s much easier to use.

Digital

While paper logbooks have their perks, there are certainly benefits towards using a digital logbook. After all, money wouldn’t be invested into creating it otherwise.
The first concern that you might have when using a digital logbook is that it might be distracting for the driver. Luckily, the app has been intentionally created to not distract the driver or supervisor while driving.
The digital logbook apps are able to verify the licences of both the learner and the supervisor.
As well as this, apps have GPS tracking, automated weather conditions and summary dashboards — all designed to create an app that is centred around the user experience.

It’s Up To You

At the end of the day, both methods of recording logbook hours are valid and it’s up to you to decide how you want to record your hours. When making your decision, keep in mind not only how it impacts you but also your parents — especially if they want to keep track of your progress.
Whichever way you want to log your hours, make sure to record as many hours as you can so you can better prepare for your driving test.