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Evaluation of L2 and P1 practical driving assessments: Final report

In 2009, Tasmania introduced a Graduated Driver Licensing Scheme (GDLS) that is a comprehensive learning process. It encourages novice drivers to get as much supervised practice and experience as possible before driving on their own.

The new GDLS saw the introduction of the L2 and P1 Practical Driving Assessments (PDAs). The L2 PDA was introduced to benchmark learning and development as early as possible and ensure key elements of safe driving before the nine month L2 stage in which learner drivers must complete, as a minimum, the 50 mandatory hours of supervised driving. The P1 PDA was developed to assess more advanced driving skills, such as hazard perception, responsiveness and decision making before moving to the Provisional (P1) Licence.

Although the new assessments underwent review and trialling before they became operational, it was always proposed to undertake an evaluation of the PDAs after a certain period of time. In 2011, the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources commissioned ARRB Group Ltd to conduct an evaluation of the L2 and P1 PDAs. The evaluation was based on:

  • Analysis of accumulated results for both L2 and P1 driving assessments;
  • Interviews with people involved in the driving assessment process, such as driving assessors, applicants, supervisory drivers and driving instructors;
  • Analysis of information received through a web based survey completed by applicants, supervisory drivers and driving instructors; and 
  • A review of the supporting documentation including:
    • the Novice Drivers’ Training Kit, 
    • the Novice Practical Driving Assessments Manual (PDA manual), 
    • the L2 and P1 score sheet, 
    • the L2 and P1 Assessment Route Design Manual, and 
    • the L2 and P1 Route Portfolio’s

This is the final report from that evaluation.