NEW DIRECTION: Jayson Theron starts the engine as he gets ready to be part of the new learner licence test, PrepL, with Ashleigh O'Connell supervising.
NEW DIRECTION: Jayson Theron starts the engine as he gets ready to be part of the new learner licence test, PrepL, with Ashleigh O'Connell supervising. Molly Hancock

Learner drivers to study online in PrepL program

THE Queensland Government is developing a new online learning and assessment program designed to make new drivers better equipped.

The new program, PrepL, is intended to replace the current 30-question paper-based written test for a class C learner licence.

The new program is designed to improve learner driver education and give new drivers a safer start to their time on the road.

By focusing on developing safe behaviours and attitudes, it will ensure new drivers know the road rules, and understand the impact of the fatal five road behaviours - speeding, seatbelt use, fatigue, distraction, and drink and drug driving.

PrepL will be able to be accessed at any time via a compatible smart phone, tablet or computer and completed by the learner at their own pace.

"Following a successful pilot of the PrepL program, we are making some additional improvements and preparing for a wider launch,” a Transport and Main Roads spokesman said.

"A second round of testing with students is currently under way and we aim to have PrepL available to all Queenslanders later this year.”

The program will be a transition period from the old to new testing platform.

Transport and Main Roads said the feedback from pilot participants so far had been positive, with 96 per cent of participants rating PrepL as good or very good.

Participants said they felt PrepL had thoroughly prepared them for driving, and described the program as engaging and interactive.

Eatons A1 Driving School instructor Brendan O'Connell said the new test would definitely be a positive for learner drivers.

"Learners today have to pass a 30 multiple choice question test and they are now moving towards an online course and throughout that course they are going to have to do 207 questions,” he said.

"It is going to be a lot more knowledge they are going to build up, which is fantastic, because at the moment there is a lack of knowledge on how road rules are to be applied when drivers are out on the road,” he added.

However, students who will be eligible to sit the new test have other views about it.

"I don't think the new test should be introduced but I like the fact that you get to do it at home,” Joshua Carroll, 15, said.

"I think if you want to learn to drive better, you need more hands-on experiences rather than a six-hour test,” Jayson Theron, 15, said.


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