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Errors That May Trash Your Driving Test - Episode 1 - Right Turns!

Posted on 19 October, 2020 at 5:10 Comments comments (0)

An Error That May Trash Your Driving Test!

This is the first in a series of errors new drivers often make during a practical driving assessment.

First up is that right turn at a busy intersection controlled by traffic lights – and no green turn arrow!!! Now even some experienced drivers are a bit hesitant making this turn and are not sure if they are doing it right. So, imagine you are at the intersection of Wellington St and Howick St near Macca’s. You have just come out of Macca’s and want to head up Wellington St toward Kings Meadow. You are sitting in the right turn lane facing a red light. The lights change to green but you cannot make the turn because there is a long line of cars coming down from the hospital – so you wait – and the lights change to amber and red and you are still there, so are all the other cars behind you. For holding up traffic you may be assessed negatively.

At a busy right turn, when the lights go green, even though there are cars coming the other way, you may enter the intersection in preparation for making the right turn, but do NOT turn your front wheels. You can sit there, in the middle of the intersection, for the whole green sequence if the line of cars is so long, but when the lights go to amber and even to red, when the opposing flow of cars stops, you may complete the right turn and clear the intersection.

If the lights change and you are very slow in completing the right turn and end up obstructing traffic after the lights go to green for the cross traffic, you may be negatively assessed, or if you have entered the intersection, and do not move after the lights change – and sit there blocking cross traffic, you will also be negatively assessed.

It can be quite daunting turning across traffic, doing what feels like you are going through a red light but the few seconds you need to complete the turn is built into the traffic light timing. There are a few seconds from your lights going red to the other lights going green – that is your window to complete the turn.

You may find you take longer than is comfortable to make that right turn because some opposing traffic insist on running amber lights or even red lights. It is what it is. You will need to judge when the moment to turn is, and that needs practice, so get out there and practice!

And why don’t you turn your wheels when you enter the intersection? In the event your car is hit from behind, if your front wheels are turned into the turn, you may be pushed into the path of oncoming traffic, which could get messy! So, keep them straight ahead til you make the turn, and that goes for ANY right turn – not just at traffic lights!

If you have any queries about this blog or any driving questions, please drop us a line or text at Launceston Driving School on 0414 749 626 and let’s chat! ��


No Driving Tests at LDS!!

Posted on 9 July, 2020 at 23:20 Comments comments (0)

Hi guys....I have had a few queries regarding testing.

LDS does not do PDA's. The only places to do a Practical Driving Assessment, are with Services Tasmania in Charles Street, who have just restarted taking bookings.

And....RACT in Cimitiere Street.

These are the only authorised assessors in Launceston. Check their websites for more info.

Cheers...Tony at LDS


Breaking News!! - as of 9th June 2020

Posted on 15 June, 2020 at 21:15 Comments comments (0)

In my last blog post I mentioned the State Growth initiative to promote Driver Training with the introduction for a short time of the 'Driver Ready Program', in which eligible learner applicants can get a free driving lesson from the Tasmanian Government!.


To be determined eligible to one 'free' lesson - we now have specific eligibility criteria. The program is not open to all learners.

If you do not fall into either group, unfortunately you are not eligible, and we cannot try to fudge this program.


Learner Drivers having being issued with your L1 license on or after the 19th of March, 2020 - you will be contacted by SMS after June 22 by State Growth.

Or, an L2 Learner Driver that has taken, but not passed a P1 Assessment on or  after 22nd of June, 2020 - you will be given a flyer by your assessor.


Your driving instructor will need to be approved by State Growth, and this is a time limited opportunity which ends in December, 2020.


Launceston Driving School's Driving Instructor has been approved by State Growth to conduct this free lesson!


Soooo....when you get the nod from State Growth, or;


If you have any queries contact LDS via our contact box below,


or by phone 0414 749 626


or by email [email protected]



 Do not miss out on your free lesson!!


But don't forget, wait until you get that advice before you contact your Approved Driver Ready Instructor.



State Growth to Introduce a 'Driver Ready' Program!

Posted on 5 June, 2020 at 20:00 Comments comments (0)

On April 22, the government removed the requirement for the L2 driving assessment which was designed to support new and current L1 licence holders heading for their P1 license..

This week just gone Launceston Driving School received news of the 'Driver Ready' Program which will, for a short time, assist the driver education industry and learner drvers by providing a free driving lesson funded by the state government.  

The main features of the package include

  • learner drivers having access to one free instruction lesson with a participating 'Driver Ready' authorised assesor/instructor.
  • instructors will have the opportunity to establish a connection with the learner driver in the early stages of their driving journey
  • the department will contact learner drivers that fail their P1 assessment and encourage them to access a free lesson to improve their readiness to undertake another P1 test
  • approved light vehicle instructors will be authorised to provide such a lesson funded by the government, and
  • over 3,600 free lessons will be offered 

The best use you could make of this lesson would be as a mock PDA which should incorpoate as close as possible the elements of a real PDA.  The only differnce would be that if a learner makes a mistake the instructor should note it, but also mention it as it occurs.  A review at the end would consolidate good habits and highlight areas needing work.

If you are in the early stages of your learning however, you could still benefit by taking a lesson with an instructor to assess your progress so far, and also as above, identify any bad habits you might be starting to show, and make constructive suggestions about habits you should develop.  It is much easier to nip a bad practice in the early days than let it develop into an automatic action that is much harder to eliminate.

This is an excellent initiative by State Growth so keep your eyes open or contact Service Tasmania for more information.

Of course, Launceston Driving School is available for you whether it is a mock PDA or if you are at Day 1 of your car driving journey!


Tony at LDS

'Learner Practical Test Removed To Streamline' - The Examiner, April 23, 2020

Posted on 23 April, 2020 at 2:15

The titile of this page was the title of an article in todays Examiner.  I had heard a whisper that the L2 PDA was probably getting canned, and this article below confirms it. I am guessing it will take effect when the Driving Assessors come back post-Covid 19.

' Learner Drivers on their L1s will not be required to take a practical test to receive their L2 licenses.  The state government made the changes to not disadvantage learner drivers looking to attain their P Plates, according to Infrastructure and Transport Minister Michael Ferguson.  "Importantly this will also reduce the need for Learners to visit Services Tasmania shopfronts.  It will also reduce the costs of obtaining a license," he said.

After three months on their L1s, a person can apply for thie L2s online.'

This will reduce the load on Service Tasmania's driver assessors, plus freeing up assessments for P Plates that were being used for L2s.  There was no mention of hours required, though I have heard another whisper that the 30 hours required for L2 will be added to the P1 requirement for 50 hours to make a total of 80 hours of logged, supervised driving.

Stay tunerd for further info!


Tony at LDS

Stuff For L1 Learners

Posted on 21 March, 2020 at 20:00

Edit - this post mentions L2 assessments, which as of April 23/2020, no longer apply.  There is now only one practical Driving Assessment, for Learners, for their P Plates.

Carry your license with you at all times when you are driving.

Only a person with a full current Australian driver's License (not provisional or overseas) who has not had any period of suspension or disqualification in the last 2 years, must be in the front passenger seat as your supervisory driver.

Do not drink ANY alcohol. You must have a zero blood alcohol reading as a learner driver.

L Plates must be clearly visible from the front and rear of the vehicle.

The L1 Maximum Speed Limit is 80kph.

Do not tow another vehicle or trailer.

As a Learner Driver you are permitted to drive at night and in wet conditions.

Animals are most active at dawn and dusk, so you must learn to scan the sides of the road and be prepared to act.  Do not stop suddenly, or swerve.

When approaching another vehicle at night, switch your headlights to LOW BEAM when at least 200m away. That includes coming up behind another vehicle.

As you get more hours, actively become more aware of your place in traffic and how you interact with other vehicles.

L1 drivers will need to perform at least 30 hours of supervised driving, the more the better!!

While it is not required for your L2 PDA, you should practise the logging exercise in the L1 Logbook which can be obtained at Services Tasmania in Charles Street, Launceston.

This is soooo important - the more supervised driving hours you get, the safer you will be when you start driving on your own.

When will I know I'm ready for my P1 PDA? (

Posted on 2 March, 2020 at 21:20

Straight up, the most important pointer as to your readiness is the amount of 'spare' attention you have available at any one time. 

At the start, your head was probably spinning with all the new information you were taking on board, and at the end of your first few lessons, you were totaaly bushed!  Just about every driver before you has been on that journey just as you are now.  Actually, you are probably getting it a little harder.

The number of P Platers dying on our roads within the first 6 months of solo driving has resulted in State Governments around Oz tightening up the whole license acheiving process in an effort to curb that horrifying statistic.  

When I went for my own MDL in 1975, there was no L1 or L2 system, and only one twelve-month P Plate to serve.  I went for a 15 minute drive with a copper, and just drove around the country town I lived in.  We did a few stop signs, give way signs, a hill-start and that was about it.  I was assessed in an old Falcon station wagon with 'three-on-the-tree' and rear-view mirrors on the fenders, but I passed. Wish I had that old XM Falcon now - it would be worth a bundle!  Bottom line though, there were less cars, less expectations and less distractions.

I think that attitudes and expectations have changed in the last 50 years when it comes to obtaining the privelige to drive a car on our streets.  And that has had to be addressed. The Graduated Driver's Licensing System is a big step in the right direction.  The skill required to pilot a car safely through our city does not come after 80 hours of supervised driving.  It won't come until proably about 5 years after you are awarded your P1 MDL.  So the graduated system is trying to prepare you to learn those skills, post P1, and with the Keys2Drive program, see you safely through that first six months.

The question still stands though right here, When will I know I'm I ready for my P1 PDA?

The authors of the Graduated Driver' License System have some guidelines that will help you decide if you are indeed ready for your P1 assessment.  These are all valid pointers, and when you can honestly tick each box as acheived that level, go for it.  But if you have not experienced any pointer, or are not able to complete any action safely, then here is a cheat sheet you can use to judge your level of expertise today, right now.

If you are ready to go forward for your P1 PDA, you:

Can move more than one car control at once

This is like using the accelerator, indicator and steer all at the same time.  For a frequently used control or button, you should be able to move your hand to it almost without looking.

Can make the car go in the direction and at the speed that you want it to go

Seems simple, but can you keep the car in your lane and not wander about.  Can you line up the car in 'right tyrn' lanes, and when a gap appears, can you use it and join a trffic flow seamlessly?

Drive smoothly when doing manoeuvres, and when driving around bends, on hills, at intersections, when merging and when changing lanes

Are you able to complete a Three Point Turn?  Can you maintain a steady turn on a bend without constantly adding or taking turn of the steering? Are you able to merge or change lanes easily, using indicators effectively and courteously?

Obey all road rules when driving

Can you?  You may have passed the Drivers Knowledge Quiz, but can you remember them all?

Are making driving decisions (which shows you have started to think in advance)

This relates to planning ahead and deciding the path your car should take, when to start braking in anticipation of making a turn, entering a driveway. what gear you should be in, 

Are thinking about where you would like to drive next

So when you get to point A (The shops) where to next (Mates place)

Use clues like information signs, landmarks and road signs/markings to help you work out where you need to drive

Markings on the road are not optional.  They provide critical information about where your car should be on the road.  Cutting corners may result in a head on collision.  Not good!  Turn lanes make turns easier, and advertise to everyone else where you re going.  Stop lines are STOP lines - no exception!  And out on country roads, solid white lines should be like a brickwall - inpenetrable!

Can change your driving route to get back on-course if you find you have turned into the wrong street

So, you get in the wrong lane.  Do you continue as if you are in your right lane, or do you go with your mistake and fix it down the road.  I hope you take the second option.  Ity may mean you go a block further before taking the turn, or you may even need to do a U Turn down the road, then thats what you do.  And remembere to do it right next time!

Watch other road users (including pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers) when driving

Great idea!  Do it all the time.  It will make a trip as a passenger more interesting, and practise hazard detection and how you would respond to it.  Get your brain thinking and working like a driver!

Can pick gaps in traffic when turning or changing lanes

Self explanatory - you should start to judge other car speeds and where they will go.  Look for indicators as a predictor, but always remember, sometimes indicators lie!

Adjust your speed to match the road, weather and traffic conditions

As you gain experience and confidence, you should be able to travel at the same speed as the traffic flow you have joined.  Weather conditions and time-of-day will have a bearing on how fast you and traffic will travel.  Remember the speed limit is just that - a limit - and while the speed limit may be 60KPH, a safer speed might be 50 or 40 KPH in wet, or smoky, or after dark conditions.

These are all valid pointers and good indicators on where you are in your journey.  Please use them.


Tony @ LDS














Don't Fool Yourself by Falsifying Log Books

Posted on 27 February, 2020 at 21:20

I was disheartened to hear from a young bloke who smiled at me, knowing I was a driving instructor, as he told me it was easy to write false entries into a log book and not have to spend so much time accumulating hours.

What a shame.  This kid will probably end up being another statistic in the 'less than 6 months experience' column in a table of people killed or seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents in Tasmania.  

Tassie kids actually have it easier than other states.  In NSW, beginner drivers need 120 hours logged before they can do their P1 Practical Driving Assessment.  So why would you think it is smart to falsify a log book that only needs you to complete at least just 50 hours?  

The aim of training to pass a PDA is not just the passing of said PDA, but to continue on after that point, to really learn the little one-percenters that are the differnece between a novice and an accomplished driver.  To self assess and self fix and not writing off themselves and and car-load of friends in a one-car-accident that is a sure sign of lack of experience and maturity.  And the self-congratulatory attitude of kids that falsify log books so they can get tested sooner is scary.

You are not doing anybody any favours.  Experienced Driver Assesors can pick the log book cheats by the very nature of their driving.  Their actions and reactions display the lack of automatic and unconscious responses that mark an experienced operator. 

At the moments, the pass rate in Tasmania is just over 50% as kids  consistently make basic errors - Indicators and Head Checks!  They may say the assessor is being picky.  Damn right they are!  Assessors have this one chance to confirm that you know what you are doing.  That your driving habits are positive, safe, automatic and your situational awareness is where it needs to be, right there, in the game.

When an assesor signs you off as being competent, that you are ready to go solo, he or she needs to be certain in their mind, that is their professional, expert mind, that you are a safe, aware operator.  Because once you have your license, the only way we know as driver educators that we have done our jobs right, is by not seeing you in the news as one more dead P Plater and their 4 dead friends.

And falsifying your log book hours is the first step to getting yourself in the news.

It's just not worth it.


Tony @ LDS


Posted on 28 January, 2020 at 23:25

Hi guys, you know we just had Christmas which probably left a hole in most people’s budgets and doesn’t leave a lot of spare cash when it comes to driving lessons. So for February, we would like to offer all sessions booked and paid for before the end February for up to 20% less than our website prices.

And whats more, any sessions booked up to June 30, 2020, but paid for before February 29, WILL ALSO GET THE DISCOUNT!

Our popular Six Pack and Ten Pack's are both $50 cheaper, which works out to a free lesson per pack!

For out Supervisor Services, where you use your own roadworthy car, this means a whopping $100 off our big ticket pack. The Super 10 Pack and the Super 20 Packs, are normally $400 and $700, but for February, they can be got for $350 and $600 respectively!!

Even the littler packs still have up to 20% Discount applied, so you will save this month!

But you must must must use the Codeword ‘SUZI ROCKS!’ when you book your lessons before  Feb 29. ‘Suzi Rocks!’ will save you $, as we are celebrating our brand new Suzuki Swift which will soon be getting you on the road and accumulating those hours for your P1 assessment.

You must contact us on 0414 749 626, call or text,

or email [email protected]

And don’t forget – SUZI ROCKS!




Driving can be such a distraction!

Posted on 21 January, 2020 at 7:00

One of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents in Australia, is being distracted while operating a vehicle. Be it a car, bus, truck, motor-bike – if you can drive it, you can be distracted. And you could be distracted by one or all of the many ways that you can have your attention drawn away from the job at hand, driving and negotiating traffic.

And if there weren’t enough distractions out there already, the introduction of the mobile phone into our everyday lives has had fatal consequences for so many people.

So how many ways do you think you could be distracted, apart from mobile phones?

Lets start inside your car, as you are chugging down the road, stuff that can take your eyes and attention away from the road –

• Adjusting your radio, mirror, seatbelt, air conditioning, heater,

• Switching on/off your radio, CD Player wipers, headlights, heater, air con,

• Changing stations, CDs, flash drives,

• Eating, drinking, lighting a smoke (yuk),

• Talking, arguing, yelling, winding a window up or down – manually or electrically

• Selecting a destination on your satnav,

• And if you drive a manual, selecting the right gear, using the handbrake on a hill,

Can you think of many more?

The most common distractions are other people in your car, and adjusting your sound system. Figures from the NSW Department of Transport tell us that 14 percent of all accidents are caused by internal or external distractions, and as much as one in ten fatalities are attributed to driving distractioned.

The crazy thing is, 98% of drivers agree that is is very dangerous to use a mobile phone while driving, yet 28% admit to repeatedly doing it themselves!

The article goes on, ‘Distractions from outside the vehicle account for about 30% of the distractions that lead to crashes. And distractions from within vehicles account for up to about 36% (the remaining 34% is unknown).

Typically, the two biggest distractions inside the vehicle are other passengers and adjusting the sound system. Research has also shown that drivers using mobile phones and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) while driving are also much more likely to be involved in crashes. Text entry into a GPS unit while driving can be extremely dangerous. Sending and receiving text messages on a mobile phone while driving is also extremely dangerous, and is also illegal.’

And in Tassie, AMII did some research and

Tasmanian drivers are the worst in the country for hitting parked cars, according to new data collated by a major insurance company........motorists on Tasmanian roads are almost twice as likely as those driving on the mainland to hit an animal.

Crash Index data from more than 8,000 accidents between July 2017 and June 2018, released by insurer AAMI, has revealed 11 per cent of all car crashes in Tasmania were instances of drivers running into parked cars — well above the national average of 8 per cent.

Distracted? Probably.

Using a mobile phone while in the drivers seat, is illegal. You know that, and you have known it since you were a kid. You have seen other people doing it, and you know they are breaking the law. The fine is now more than $300 and will cost you 3 demerit points.

When you lose demerit points, it takes 3 years to get them back. As a novice driver, there is a really good chance that as you gain experience you will occasionally misjudge your speed, not quite stop at that Stop Sign, forget to indicate coming off that roundabout. It is so easy to accumulate demerit points, and you will get them back. But being distracted by whatever is happening inside – 34% - or outside – 36% - your car, could contribute to you missing that speed sign, missing that stop sign, forgettting that indicator – and the conswequences could be fatal.

As a beginning driver, part of the responsibility that comes with obtaining a driver’s license is ‘the buck stops here!’ Whatever you do in your car, is on you. If you remember the Stop Sign, or posted speed limit, you won’t be congratulated or given a trophy, because these are things expected of you. If you forget stuff, being distracted will not reduce your culpability in any accident. The buck stops with you!

If this is a bit heavy, it is meant to be. You see if you cause the death or serious injury of another motorist, passenger or pedestrian, that will be a life sentence for you. If you are a beginning driver, 17 or 18, this is something you really, do not want.

If you are using your phone, or having a great old time with your mates in your nifty little i30, and miss that red light, or miss that tightening bend, people will get hurt or die, and as the driver, it will be on you.

You have the capacity to understand that having a driver’s license really is a privledge. When you complete your driver training, and pass your P1 Assessment, your outlook will change. You will feel a little more free, and you will have the urge to get in your car and just go for a drive, because you can.

Thats fine, but you have bugger all solo experience, and i’m sorry, but your misplaced confidence in your own ability may see you move statistically from the least likely to have a serious accident as a Learner driver, to the most likely to have a serious accident as a ‘P’ Plater.

The best way to beat that statitic is to gain experience. To drive within yourself, and continue to learn, to keep developing that situational awareness, keep scanning for potential points of conflict and stay safe.

A great way to get valid experience while you are a Learner, vary your driving. Get experience in night driving, wet weather, country, heavy city traffic, light country town traffic. Try to get into a few different vehicles – small cars, bigger cars and vans. The Keys2Drive program talks about getting experience long, wide and deep. Get lots of time behind the wheel before your assessment, get a wide variety of conditions and traffic, and think about how you feel when something happens, and how you deal with it.

And if you have any queries, call us at Launceston Driving School or drop us a line.

Finally, make courtesy contagious!



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