Why You Must Obey the 120 Hours Rule and Defensive Driving

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So you’ve passed your L-Plates test and are excited to get onto the roads; well first of all, congratulations. Although the number of hours varies between Australian states, the Victorian Government has placed a mandatory 120 hours’ worth of experience that is needed for those people under the age of 21 and looking to obtain their P-Plates.

I know what you’re thinking, 120 hours may seem like an awfully long time, that’s going to take forever, however driving is a huge responsibility and must be taken seriously at all times. Spending over an hour per week over two years driving with a supervisor will give you the opportunity to complete the required 120 hours.

Studies have shown that younger drivers with around 120 hours of experience are 30% less likely to crash within their first two years of receiving their license, as opposed to those who only complete 50 hours.

Having the freedom to drive comes with a duty of care, and is an absolute privilege that must never be taken for granted. Road safety experts have praised Victoria’s compulsory rule, and stay it’s a good way for beginners to gain as much experience as possible.

Like Victoria, those who’ve obtained their learners permit in New South Wales will also have to complete 120 hours’ worth of supervised driving, including 20 hours’ of driving during the night time.

All drivers that are on their L-Plates and those who are on P-Plates must not have any alcohol in their system, and never under any circumstances be under the influence of illegal drugs. Failing to obey the road rules can result in your license getting suspended, and could jeopardize your chances of becoming fully licensed in the future.

Safe drivers are the ones that take care of the roads and are prepared for all situations that might arise. Confidence and experience stem from spending a number of hours practicing in all types of weather conditions.

DEFENSIVE DRIVING COURSE

Defensive Driving Course or DDCM has been providing courses for drivers who need to complete Magistrates’ Court order ruling for over 10 years. These courses are the number 1 requested by legal representation and by the Magistrates’ Courts for issues relating to the Criminal Justice Diversion program and all other careless driving matters that have been ruled from the Magistrates’ Court.

We are specialist-driving instructors and assessors for this field (holding certification in Driving Instruction and Training and Assessment) meaning we are both the trainers and assessors for the courses and all training is conducted on one with the use of our vehicles that have dual controls for peace of mind.

We have been specifically advised by Magistrates’ Court judges to conduct these types of courses on and off-road. These courses should only relate to defensive driving aspects for our roads and road rules, not high-speed cornering and chicane work in closed circuits that focus on speedy control and nothing else as many of the other providers of such courses do today.

We conduct on and off-road defensive driving courses that cover all defensive driving skills needed to be safe on the roads, as well as avoiding hazardous situations and preventing dangerous collisions with other vehicles and road users. Our priority is to teach prevention of dangerous situations. Remember, defensive drivers, use the accelerator to slow down, not the brake!

Some of the skills covers is:

Pre-operational safety vehicle checks (basic)
Correct seat and mirror positioning (in accordance with airbags and gaining  maximum observation)
Correct hand position including thumb position and safe steering wheel turning methods
Correct mirror use, where to start from, when to check?
Blindspot technique, where do we find blind spots around the vehicle? (Including correct head check technique)
Safe gap selections in traffic, what makes a gap safe to cross or enter traffic flow?
General observation, where to start?
Braking and what it involves? (Perception time, reaction time and stopping distance)
Speed control, how to always keep within the speed limit?
Safe Give Way/Stop intersection approach and positioning of the vehicle, the system of vehicle control
Roundabout approach, following the lead if safe, entry and exit
Right/left turns at traffic lights no directional arrows, how to position, where to look, when to go?
Tramline use (including shared, part-time, full time and tramway lines)
Bus lane use, when to, how-to, and why?
Hook turns, where to position, where to look when to go?
Pedestrian traffic/crossings, the law regarding pedestrians on our roads

Bicycle lane entry/exist, why use it and when to use it, what should you know about bicycle law and what constitutes sufficient warning for cyclists?
CBD driving, avoiding danger and collisions and how to keep safe in busy, heavy traffic conditions

Lane changing in traffic, correct process and how to acknowledge the safest gap selections?
Reverse parking in between 2 vehicles at a car length, simple easy techniques
Angle/center road parking (45°& 90°), rules governing center road parking and techniques
Following distance, how to measure, why what can it do for you?
Stopping distance, the law regarding stopping behind vehicles on the road
Space cushions, what are they? What they can do for you in regards to safety
Freeway entry/exit, lane changing and safe gap selection at high speed in traffic

Finally, we at DDCM know that you are busy and that your time is valuable. You should also understand that you know how to drive, so our job is not to teach you how to drive but to increase your driving knowledge within a short amount of time. Our courses are conducted within 2 hours of your time, which means you can finish up quickly while learning valuable on-road driving skills for life and fulfill your Magistrates’ Court mandatory or voluntary request. Recognized certificates of completion and reports provided at the end of each course.

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