97 per cent of supervisors fail NRMA Driver Knowledge test

Thursday 26 September 2013: A new NRMA Safer Driving School test of more than 600 parents and supervisor drivers has found that only three per cent would have achieved the minimum score required to pass the Roads & Maritime Services' (RMS) Driver Knowledge Test.

To pass the RMS Driver Knowledge test, participants require a minimum score of 41/45 (91%) to earn their learners driver licence.

The online NRMA Safer Driving School test involved 16 driving rules questions similar to those of the RMS Driver Knowledge Test. A pass mark in the NRMA test was 15/16 (93%). Only 18 of the 624 participants scored 15 or 16.

Over 600 learner supervisors, including mums and dads, took the NRMA test. These included supervisors who have either taught a learner driver in the last five years or were intending to teach a learner driver in the next five years.

NRMA Motoring and Services President Wendy Machin said nearly all (96 percent) of participants felt 'very/fairly confident' about teaching a learner driver, however this question was asked before participants took the 16 question NSW road rules test.

"The average score of nine-out-of-16 indicated parents and supervisors needed a better knowledge of road rules before getting into a car with a learner driver," Ms Machin said.

"Despite the results, most participants saw the survey as a positive experience and were genuinely concerned that they needed to improve their knowledge of the road rules before teaching a learner driver."

One quarter (24%) of participants said they would use the Australian Government's keys2drive program, which provided a free learning experience for both supervisor and learner – conducted by a qualified driving instructor.

"Keys2drive is a great way for supervisors to become better teachers – and it's free," Ms Machin said.

"Other suggestions by participants to help them improve their knowledge of the road rules included seeking refresher courses run by driving schools, easy access to a copy of the road rules and a custom designed supervisor driver course for those intending on teaching learners,".
Ms Machin said learner drivers needed to be taught the right habits from the start of their driving life, and supervisors – including mums and dads – had an important role to play.

"Young drivers pick up on the driving habits of their supervisors - both good and bad - and this means taking time to prepare before getting in the car," Ms Machin said.

"We know that parents spend a lot of time with their kids in the car as they increase their log book hours so it's important that the experience is beneficial to all involved.

"The odds of a fatal crash increase dramatically once a learner driver gets in a car on their own as a p-plater.

"The NRMA believes that a combination of driving lessons from both a driving school and supervisors, combined with a strong educational program such as keys2drive, are factors that could reduce these odds."

One of the top three questions participants scored well in was their knowledge of the legal blood alcohol limit for learner or p-plate drivers. However, while 95% of the 624 participants knew it was 0.00, only 21% knew that the legal blood alcohol limit for a supervisor was under 0.05.

Less than a quarter of participants knew that you could drive in a bus lane for 100 metres before a turn off.

Sample questions from the NRMA Safer Driving School knowledge test included:

What is the legal blood alcohol limit for Supervising Drivers when in the car with a learner driver?
a) 0.00
b) Less than 0.02
c) Less than 0.03
d) Less than 0.04
e) Less than 0.05 (correct answer)
f) Less than 0.06
g) Less than 0.1

When are you permitted to drive in a bus lane?
a. 100 metres before any turn (correct answer)
b. 50 metres before any turn
c. 100 metres before any turn except for private driveways
d. Never

Take the 16 question NRMA Safer Driving School test at: http://survey.confirmit.com/wix/p2670318548.aspx. To learn more about the Australian Government's keys2drive program, visit www.nrmasaferdrivingschool.com.au.

Contact: Daniel Stanton 0439 133 092 daniel.stanton@mynrma.com.au