What do you Need to Sit Next to a Learner Driver
Supervising a driver as they learn to drive is a big responsibility; not everyone is up to the task. If you want to sit in the passenger seat while a new driver is learning the ropes, it’s essential to be aware of your responsibilities and obligations. Here’s what you need, to be able to sit next to a learner driver.
A Full Driving Licence
If you want to sit in the passenger seat while a learner is at the wheel, you need to hold a full driving licence; not a provisional licence or learner permit. It is essential that you understand the road rules so you can correctly teach your learner driver to give them the best chance to pass their driving test first try.
Blood Alcohol Limit
Everyone knows that you can’t drive while drunk. Under Australian law, it is your blood alcohol content that determines whether you are too intoxicated to be behind the wheel, irrespective of how impaired you are.
Similar rules apply to driving instructors. Anyone supervising a learner driver needs to have a BAC of less than 0.05. Supervising a learner driver while under the influence of drugs is illegal in all circumstances.
A Log Book
Learner drivers are expected to record all their practical experience in a log book. Drivers can choose whether they prefer to use a paper log book or a digital log book app; either is acceptable.
A supervising driver or instructor has a responsibility to check the drivers’ progress against the key tasks and milestones outlined in their log book. Commercially-available log books and apps should contain a list of key tasks for learners to complete; all you need to do is mark these off as appropriate.
Be a Good Role Model
To qualify as an approved driving instructor, an in-depth understanding of the road rules is essential. Not only do instructors need to be able to teach their students how to drive, but they also need to act as good role models, showing their students how to behave when behind the wheel. For example, instructors need to make it clear that using a mobile phone while driving is unacceptable, even when on a practice drive.
Being a good role model means you should aim to familiarise your students with the best practices all drivers should adhere to. As they gain driving experience, most of these things will become second nature. But when a learner is just starting out, you might need to remind them about a few things gently:
- Encourage them to read through the road users handbook. This handbook lays out all the current rules of the road and should be their go-to reference for anything they are unsure about.
- Remind them to leave plenty of space between their vehicle and other road users. They should always ensure there is space between the front and rear of their vehicle and other vehicles on the road. You should also remind them that “other vehicles” includes push bikes and scooters as well as cars, trucks etc.
- If you or the student feels tired or stressed while on the road, you should pull over and end the lesson; alcohol and drugs aren’t the only things that can impair a drivers’ reactions.
- Make sure learners understand the differences between manual and automatic cars and which type they are driving.
Helping someone learn to drive is a big responsibility. If you fail to teach someone to drive properly, they won’t be safe on the roads. Make sure you understand all your obligations before you take your place next to a learner driver.
LTrent Driving School provide professional lessons with qualified instructors in NSW & VIC. Contact us online to learn more and get started today.