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What is the Driver Competency Standard?

As part of the Novice Driver Licensing System, the Driver Competency Standard has been set. It is -

  • the basis of the new driving assessments
  • used by driving assessors to determine if L2 & P1 applicants have sufficient and safe driving skills, and they demonstrate progression towards the standard, to drive alone on Tasmanian roads. At a driving assessment, driving assessors look to the standard to find out whether a L2 & P1 applicant demonstrates progression towards 'competency'.
  • A tool for training
  • A recognition that driving involves driver behaviour (ie they choose to do it)

    Safe driving has 2 important parts -

  • the skill to drive safely - these include the basic physical driving skills and applying the road rules and
  • the will to do so - these include the driver's values, emotions and personal needs (units 4 and 6 have elements that relate to this part).

Why is there a Driver Competency Standard?

It sets the standard that the department expects a competent driver to meet.

Who can use this standard?

This standard, especially units 1 - 4, can be used by learner drivers, supervisory drivers and driving instructors and all drivers to check a learners progressions towards the standards and to determine if they are ready to take the new driving assessment.

Driving instructors may use it for assessing their student's progress and to be a checklist of learning points for devising learner driver courses. It can also be used for determining whether their students are demonstrating progression towards competency are ready to take their driving assessment.

The Standard, especially units 5 - 6, may be useful for training experienced drivers or for them to evaluate their driving habits.

PURPOSE OF THE DRIVER COMPETENCY STANDARD is to "effect the safe, efficient personal mobility by operating a car in the public traffic system"

Summary of Units and Elements in the Driver Competency Standard

1. Operate the Car

The basic skills you need to safely operate a car:

    1. Make sure the car is safe
    2. Get ready to drive
    3. Move off
    4. Use instruments and switches
    5. Stop the car

2. Guide and Control the Car

The skills you need to accurately drive and position the car on the road. They are separate from dealing with traffic.

    1. Car manoeuvres
    2. Manage accelerator
    3. Manage brakes
    4. Manage steering
    5. Use accelerator, brakes, steering and gears smoothly together

3. Drive in an Orderly Traffic System

The driving techniques you need to use in a traffic system where everyone is obeying the rules. Eventually you use these techniques almost without thinking.

    1. Use driving procedures
    2. Navigate the road system
    3. Pass through the road and traffic system
    4. Travel with traffic and respond to it
    5. Drive efficiently in the traffic system
    6. Adjust driving for poor visibility

4. Minimise Conflict

The driving skills you need to avoid trouble before it happens.

Driving conditions are not always perfect. Other drivers make mistakes or take chances in spite of the rules. Experienced drivers ?second-guess? what might happen.

    1. Adjust to the driving environment
    2. Respond to situations in the driving environment
    3. Avoid stressful or difficult driving environments
    4. Make safe decisions in stressful situations\
    5. Manage your motivations

5. Manage Crisis

The driving skills you need to reduce conflicts on the road. Experienced drivers know what to do in a crisis, to stop it or not make it quite so bad.

    1. Avoid a crash that is about to happen
    2. Do the right things to keep control (or to get back in control)
    3. Take the correct action after a crash
    4. Take the correct action after your car breaks down

6. Review and Adjust Driving

How you can learn from driving experience and become a better driver.

    1. Watch your own driving and improve it
    2. Think about how you behave on the road, and change it if necessary
    3. Watch how other road users behave
    4. Watch out for things that cause risk, and do something about them