You may or may not have heard that the ACT Government has added one more competency to the ACT Log Book System, which from the 29th August 2016 will require learner drivers to pass 23 Driver Competencies. In light of this, we have summarized everything you need to know about this new competency and how it will affect you.
What is the new driver competency? (Competency 23 - Vulnerable Road Users)
The new competency draws attention to Vulnerable Road Users, referring to those on our roads who have less protection in the chance a crash occurs, as opposed to motorists who at least have their vehicles to sustain some of the damage. Vulnerable Road Users generally refers to pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, highlighting in particular the pedestrian group of children and the elderly. This particular pedestrian category is emphasized as children may not look before crossing the road, and the elderly may take longer to cross. Additionally, this new competency can also be expanded to include less common Vulnerable Road Users such as those riding animals eg. horses, segways and motorized scooters.
What will be involved in this new competency?
The key assessable components of the Vulnerable Road Users Competency include:
- Scanning short, middle and long term distances
- Safely navigate through areas such as school zones, shared zones, etc
- Anticipation and correct checking of blind spots
- Correct response to anticipated situation
- Understanding how the current road rules relate to Vulnerable Road Users
Why add this new competency?
With an increasing number of people for various reasons choosing to leave the car at home and either walk or cycle, this segment of road users is increasing and therefore so should drivers awareness of this group. Safely sharing the road with Vulnerable Road requires a unique set of driving skills such as anticipation, risk assessment and response management, which differ slightly from the existing competencies, so therefore by adding this new competency it will embed safe driving practices, responsibility and tolerance which will make the roads a safer place for all.
How will this affect me?
This new competency will largely affect two groups of people. The first, learner drivers who apply for their learner licence on or after 29th August 2016 will be assessed on this new competency during their undertaking of the Log Book System. If you have already obtained your learner licence prior to this date, you will not be assessed on the new competency. Secondly, this will affect learner drivers who have to pass a mandatory driving test (such as overseas drivers). However, this will only affect those who book their test on or after 29th August.
Do you or someone you know have any tips or advice on how to effectively and share the road? Or any questions about this new competency? We'd love to hear them! Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!
For further information head to Access Canberra.