Observation

Requirements

  • Maintains a continuous lookout ahead, except when making brief checks of the mirrors and other directions.
  • When driving straight, checks mirrors often enough to maintain awareness of surrounding traffic. The required frequency varies with conditions.
  • When required to give way (e.g. facing a Give Way sign, turning across traffic, or entering a roundabout), looks in the direction(s) conflicting traffic might approach
  • Checks the internal mirror immediately before braking.
  • When diverging (including when entering/crossing a bike lane for a left turn):
    • checks the internal mirror and (according to the direction of movement) the right or left external mirror immediately before signalling
    • performs a head check immediately before moving laterally
  • When turning, looks in the planned direction of travel before making the turn.
  • When making a 3-point turn, looks in both directions along the road immediately before moving across the road (before and after reversing) and immediately before reversing out of a driveway or away from the kerb.
  • While reversing as part of a 3-point turn, looks in the direction of travel.

Scoring

Yes             if all applicable requirements are satisfied

No             otherwise

NA             it is not possible to determine if the requirements were met (e.g. if the applicant wears sunglasses and looks in the appropriate direction cannot be seen)

See also

When diverging, if the applicant doesn’t check the mirrors AND doesn’t head check:

  • If no other road user has to take evasive action, a Critical Error (Fail to Look) is recorded. If Observation is also being assessed for that task, record a No.
  • If a road user has to take evasive action, record an Immediate Termination Error (Fail to Give Way).

Explanation

A head check is required when diverging to ensure there are no undetected vehicles in blind spots.

Signalling

Requirements

  • When pulling out from a parked/stationary position, activates the appropriate indicator for at least 5 seconds before moving even if no other traffic is present.
  • Activates the turn indicator for the appropriate direction for at least 3 seconds (even if no other traffic is present) before:
    • turning
    • pulling into the kerb
    • changing lanes
    • diverging by at least the width of the car (not pulling out from the kerb)
    • diverging by less than the width of the car where it is necessary to warn other road users (e.g. to indicate that the applicant intends to overtake a parked car before allowing an oncoming vehicle to pass)
    • stopping next to a parked vehicle to commence a reverse parallel park
  • When turning at a roundabout:
    • activates the turn indicator in the appropriate direction (left or right) for at least 3 seconds prior to entering the roundabout (see Figures 4, 5 and 6)
    • activates the left-turn indicator before leaving the roundabout if practical (note this not usually practical at any but the largest roundabouts; for each roundabout on a test route, the VicRoads Customer Service Manager will determine whether a signal is required when leaving).
  • When turning left or right, does not activate the indicator so early as possibly to mislead other road users about which street the applicant intends to turn into.
  • Maintains the turn signal until the turn or diverge has been completed.
  • Cancels the indicator if necessary when the turn or diverge has been completed

Note that if the signal is incorrectly executed (e.g. not activated soon enough or cancelled too soon), No is recorded for Signalling but a Critical Error (Fail to Signal) is not recorded. Fail to Signal applies only if a required signal is omitted altogether.

Scoring

Yes             if all applicable requirements are satisfied

No             otherwise

See also

If the applicant fails to signal when required:

  • If no other road user has to take evasive action, record a Critical Error (Fail to Signal). If Signalling is also being assessed for that task, record a No.
  • If a road user has to take evasive action, record an Immediate Termination Error (Fail to Give Way).
  • No should be recorded for Signalling if the applicant does not signal before leaving a roundabout where it was practical to. A Critical Error (Fail to Signal) should not be recorded.

Example

Observed behaviour: The applicant activates the turn signal only 1 second before making a right turn.

Assessment: A signal is required at least 3 seconds before turning. No should be recorded for Signalling.

Figure 2: A signal is required when changing lanes. (Note: ‘P’ indicates a parked vehicle.) Figure 3: A signal is required when diverging, even if no other vehicles are present.
2-signal-required-when-changing-lanes 3-signal-required-to-diverge
Figure 4: A left-turn signal is required when entering a roundabout intending to leave at the first exit, if the first exit is less than halfway around the roundabout. Figure 5: No turn signal is required when entering a roundabout intending to leave at an exit that is halfway around the roundabout.
4-left-signal-roundabout-exit 5-no-signal-entering-straight-roundabout
Figure 6: A right-turn signal is required when entering a roundabout intending to leave at an exit that is more than halfway around the roundabout. 6-right-signal-turn-right-roundabout

Gap Selection

Requirements

  • Selects the first available safe gap after an initial period of observing approaching traffic to identify a gap.
  • Rejects any unsafe gaps.

Scoring

Yes             if at least 1 traffic unit (road user) is approaching and requirements are satisfied

No             if at least 1 traffic unit is approaching and any requirements are not satisfied

NA             if there are no approaching traffic units and there is no need to select a safe gap

See also

If the applicant’s gap selection is so unsafe it requires another road user to take evasive action, record an Immediate Termination Error (Fail to Give Way).

Explanation

Drivers who reject safe gaps increase congestion and delays, frustrating road users.

Example 1

Observed behaviour: The applicant is waiting at a Give Way sign to turn left from a local street onto an arterial road. She waits for several vehicles to pass, then continues to wait during a safe gap. She eventually completes the turn safely during a later gap.

Assessment: The applicant has selected a safe gap, but not the first available safe gap. No should be recorded for Gap Selection.

Example 2

Observed behaviour: The applicant is approaching a Stop sign in a local street and intends to turn left onto an arterial road. As he arrives at the intersection, there is a safe gap. He stops correctly then checks for traffic to the right. By the time he has checked, it is too late to take the gap so he waits for another safe gap then completes the turn.

Assessment: The applicant is not required to take a safe gap that occurs before he has had a reasonable opportunity to observe traffic. Record a Yes for Gap Selection.

Speed Choice

Requirements

  • Does not exceed the speed limit for a continuous period of 5 seconds or more.
  • Does not exceed the speed limit for any duration in an area identified by a speed limit sign with the additional words ‘school’ or ‘school zone’ (when in operation).
  • Does not exceed the speed limit by 5km/h or more at any time.
  • When driving straight, drives at or close to the speed limit when conditions are suitable, but at a lower speed if conditions (e.g. wet or unsealed road, or in congested or slow traffic) make it unsafe to travel at the speed limit.
  • When driving straight, does not drive 10km/h or more below the speed limit, unless conditions make it unsafe to travel closer to the speed limit.
  • When merging, adjusts speed if necessary to choose a safe gap in the traffic.

Note that speed advisory signs do not set limits. Applicants are not required to drive within the advised speed if conditions allow safe driving at a higher speed.

Scoring

Yes if all applicable requirements are satisfied No otherwise

See also

  1. An Immediate Termination Error (Excessive Speed) is recorded if the speed limit is exceeded:
    • continuously for 5 seconds or more
    • by 5km/h or more regardless of the duration
    • by any margin for any duration in an area identified by a speed limit sign with the additional words ‘school’ or ‘school zone’ (when in operation)
  2. If the applicant travels at 10km/h or more below the speed limit for a substantial part of the stage, a Critical Error (Too Slow) should be recorded unless conditions make it unsafe to travel closer to the limit.
    If a Critical Error (Too Slow) is recorded and Speed Choice is also being assessed for that task, No should be recorded for Speed Choice.

Example 1

Observed behaviour: During a straight drive downhill in a 60km/h zone, the speed of the vehicle momentarily creeps up to 62km/h. The applicant notices immediately and brakes, reducing the vehicle’s speed back to 60 km/h within 2 seconds.

Assessment: The applicant did not exceed the speed limit for 5 seconds or more and did not exceed the speed limit by 5km/h at any time. Assuming this was the only breach, no penalty should be applied. Yes should be recorded for Speed Choice.

Example 2

Observed behaviour: On a straight drive in heavy rain and poor visibility, the applicant drives at 55km/h (similar to other drivers) on an arterial road with a limit of 70km/h.

Assessment: Driving well below the speed limit is justified by the conditions. No penalty

Following Distance

Requirements

  • When driving straight in good conditions, maintains a following distance of at least 2 seconds.
  • When driving straight in poor conditions (e.g. on a wet or unsealed road), maintains a following distance of at least 3 seconds.
  • After changing lanes, resumes the applicable following distance (2 or 3 seconds, depending on conditions) behind the vehicle in front as soon as practicable.

Scoring

Yes             if the applicable requirement is satisfied

No             if the applicable requirement is not satisfied

NA             if there is no traffic within 5 seconds ahead and the applicant does not have to maintain a safe following distance

Explanation

The applicant needs more time and distance to stop if a hazard is detected in poor conditions than in good conditions.

Lateral Position

Requirements

  • On roads with more than 1 lane marked for the applicant’s direction of travel, selects an appropriate lane for the driving task, including:
    • When turning left or right from a road with marked lanes, commences the turn from a lane from which the relevant turn (left or right) is permitted.
    • When turning into a multi-lane road, complies with road markings (if any) that require the turn to finish in a particular lane; and does not mislead other drivers by changing mid-turn to finish in a different lane.
    • When travelling straight through an intersection, does not select a lane marked for turning.
    • Does not drive in a bicycle-only lane (except for up to 50m when entering or leaving the road, pulling over to or out from the kerb or overtaking a right-turning vehicle).
    • Does not travel in the left lane if it is intermittently blocked by parked vehicles and another lane is available.
  • When turning right:
    • keeps left of the centre line (if any) or centre of the road (if no line) when entering and leaving the intersection (see Figures 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12)
    • if turning from a road without marked lanes, enters the intersection as near as practicable to the centre line or the centre of the road (Figure 9)
    • if turning right at an intersection other than a T-intersection or a roundabout, passes to the right of the centre of the intersection, unless road markings or a ‘Hook turn only’ sign impose a different requirement. Note that it may be difficult to judge where the centre of the intersection is located, so applicants should be penalised only for very clear breaches.
  • When turning left:
    • does not cross the centre line of either the road the applicant is turning from or into (see Figure 15)
    • if turning left from a road without marked lanes, commences the turn from as near as practicable to the left side of the road (see Figure 14).
  • Positions the vehicle wholly within the lane (except when changing lanes) and does not wander from side to side within the lane.
  • When driving along a road with only one lane or line of traffic for the applicant’s direction of travel, positions the vehicle as near as practical to the left. Note that it is not considered practical to drive close to the left roadside if this requires the applicant to diverge frequently around parked vehicles (see Figures 16, 17, 18).
  • Maintains a lateral clearance of at least 1.2m from parked vehicles whenever possible (see Figure 16).
  • Maintains a safe lateral clearance from vehicles travelling in other lanes.
  • Does not contact any kerb when turning or negotiating a roundabout.

Scoring

Yes             if all applicable requirements are satisfied

No             otherwise

See also

Lateral Position is also assessed as a Stage Assessment Item in both test stages.

Explanation

Driving unnecessarily in the kerbside lane when there are parked vehicles should be avoided as it causes frequent lane changes that could create conflicts with others.

Keeping 1.2m (door width) from parked vehicles allows for the chance a parked vehicle’s occupant opens the door without checking it is safe. In some cases (e.g. narrow streets with cars parked on both sides) the desired clearance may not be possible.

Figure 7: Correct lateral position on a right turn, keeping left of centre when entering and leaving the intersection. Figure 8: Incorrect lateral position on a right turn, failing to keep left of centre when entering/leaving the intersection.
7-correct-lateral-position-right-turn 8-incorrect-lateral-position-right-turn
Figure 9: Incorrect right turn lateral position from a road with no marked lanes, not entering the intersection as near as practical to the centre line. Figure 10: Correct lateral position for a right turn into a multi-lane road.
9-other-incorrect-lateral-position-right-turn 10-correct-lateral-position-muli-lane-right-turn
Figure 11: Incorrect lateral position for a right turn into a multi-lane road, failing to keep left of centre when leaving the intersection. Figure 12: Incorrect lateral position for a right turn, cutting across a double continuous centre line.
11-incorrect-lateral-position-multi-lane-road 12-incorrect-lateral-position-double-lines
Figure 13: Incorrect lateral position for a right turn, possibly recorded as an Immediate Termination Error (Other Dangerous Action or Intervention) if there is traffic approaching from the right. Figure 14: Correct left turn lateral position from a road with no marked lanes, entering the intersection as near as practical to the left roadside
13-incorrect-lateral-right 14-correct-lateral-position-left-turn
Figure 15: Incorrect lateral position for a left turn, crossing the centre line of the road the applicant is turning into. Figure 16: Correct lateral position when cars are parked at the left side of the road. (Note: ‘P’ indicates a parked vehicle.)
15-incorrect-lateral-left-turn 16-correct-lateral-position-with-parked-cars
Figure 17: Incorrect lateral position when cars are parked at the left side of the road. (Note: ‘P’ indicates a parked vehicle.) Figure 18: Incorrect lateral position on a road with only one lane or line of traffic for the applicant’s direction of travel, failing to keep as near as practical to the left side of the road.
17-incorrect-lateral-position-with-parked-cars 18-incorrect-lateral-position-with-one-lane

Parking Observation

Requirements

When reverse parking, looks out the rear window immediately before reversing.

Scoring

Yes             if the requirement is satisfied

No             otherwise

Parking Movement

Requirements

  • Completes the reverse park in no more than 4 movements and in no more than 2 minutes (unless traffic conditions make this unreasonable).
  • Does not reverse more than 7m behind the rear of the vehicle in front (measured from the rear of the parked vehicle to the front of the applicant’s car) (Figure 19).
  • Finishes with the front and rear left wheels within 300mm of the kerb.
  • Finishes with the car front between 1 - 2m behind the rear of the vehicle in front.
  • Does not hit the kerb heavily enough to cause discomfort to vehicle occupants.
  • Does not allow any wheel to mount the kerb while parking.

Scoring

Yes            if all requirements are satisfied

No             otherwise

Notes

  1. If one or more tyres contact the kerb but not heavily enough to cause discomfort to vehicle occupants and without mounting the kerb, no penalty is recorded.
  2. If an applicant has used more than the 2 minutes and is not finished the park:
    • No should be recorded for Parking Movement
    • the LTO may decide to abandon the park and continue the Drive Test

See also

  1. If the applicant allows one wheel of the vehicle to mount the kerb, but no other road user takes evasive action and there is no danger to road users or property, a Critical Error (Mount Kerb) should be recorded (and a No for Parking Movement)
  2. An Immediate Termination Error (Collision) should be recorded if the applicant:
    • allows one wheel to mount the kerb either causing a road user to take evasive action or creating a danger to property
    • allows more than one wheel to mount the kerb
Figure 19: Correct parking movement. Note that the applicant is required to maintain a turn signal (assessed under Signalling) at positions 1 and 2. (Note: ‘P’ indicates a parked vehicle.) 19-correct-parking-movement

Leaving Parking

Requirements

  • Makes a head check after activating the indicator immediately before pulling out.
  • Pulls out from the kerb in either one or two movements. One reverse movement if required and one forward movement (see Figure 20).

Scoring

Yes            if all requirements are satisfied

No             otherwise

See also

  1. The applicant is required to signal before pulling out (assessed under Signalling)
  2. If the applicant allows 1 wheel of the vehicle to mount the kerb while leaving parking, but no other road user takes evasive action and there is no danger to property, a Critical Error (Mount Kerb) should be recorded.
  3. An Immediate Termination Error (Collision) should be recorded if the applicant:
    • allows 1 wheel to mount the kerb either causing a road user to take evasive action or creating a danger to property
    • allows more than 1 wheel to mount the kerb

Explanation

The head check must be done immediately before pulling out from the kerb to ensure there isn’t time for another vehicle to move into a dangerous position before pulling out.

Figure 20: Leaving parking, using one reverse movement and one forward movement. (Note: ‘P’ indicates a parked vehicle.) 20-leaving-parking

Turning Movement

When performing a 3-point turn, the applicant is free to choose whether to pull over to the left before turning across the road to the right (Figure 21) and whether to turn between the kerbs or to make use of a driveway on the right roadside (Figure 22).

Requirements

  • If pulling over first, positions the car parallel to the kerb (within 300mm).
  • Moves to the right kerb or into a driveway without hitting any kerb hard enough to cause discomfort to occupants and without allowing a wheel to mount a kerb.
  • If using a driveway, does not enter private property (see Figure 23).
  • Reverses away from the kerb or out of the driveway without hitting a kerb hard enough to cause discomfort and without allowing a wheel to mount a kerb.
  • Returns to the correct side of the road when the manoeuvre is completed.
  • Completes the manoeuvre in no more than 2 minutes and without moving across the road to the right more than once.

Scoring

Yes             if all applicable requirements are satisfied

No             otherwise

See also

  1. The applicant is required to signal before pulling over to the kerb (if applicable) and before moving across the road to the right. Assessed under Signalling.
  2. If the applicant allows 1 wheel to mount the kerb while performing the 3-point turn, but no road user takes evasive action and there is no danger to property, a Critical Error (Mount Kerb) should be recorded (and a No for Turning Movement).
  3. An Immediate Termination Error (Collision) should be recorded if the applicant:
    • allows 1 wheel to mount the kerb either causing a road user to take evasive action or creating a danger to property
    • allows more than 1 wheel to mount the kerb
Figure 21: 3-point turn movements, including pulling over to the left (optional). Figure 22: 3-point turn movements, including using a driveway (optional).
21-3-point-turn 22-3-point-turn-driveway
Figure 23: Incorrect 3-point turn movement, travelling too far up the driveway and entering private property. 23-incorrect-3-point-turn-driveway

 

Continue reading the Drive Test Criteria Summary:

1. Overview of the Drive Test

2. Drive Test Procedures

3. Understanding the Assessment Criteria

4. Task Assessment Items

5. Stage Assessment Items

6. Critical Errors

7. Immediate Termination Errors

8. Appendix: Assessable Tasks


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