RACV’s senior safety policy adviser, Elvira Lazar, says the program will also help better prepare learner drivers by building their knowledge of driving risks and safe behaviour.
She says the online course component, which includes theory, interactive videos, visual graphics and mini quizzes that progressively test knowledge of key road-safety issues, will help both learners and their supervisors build a strong foundation before they put on their L plates.
“It is vital for all young drivers to understand the common risks that lead to crashes and more importantly what they can do to avoid putting themselves and others in danger,” she says.
She says the course builds on the topics covered in the current Road to Solo driving handbook and crucially emphasises the importance of drivers sharing the road safely with other users such as cyclists and pedestrians.
To access the online test, customers must create a myVicRoads personal account, pay a small fee and have access to a compatible device. It takes between four and six hours to complete the course, and prospective learners have 12 months from registration to sit the actual test.
When both the online course and test have been successfully completed, learner drivers must go to a VicRoads customer service centre in person to confirm their identity, have their photo taken and have an eyesight check.
It’s vital for all young drivers to understand the common risks that lead to crashes.
While it is expected that online testing will eventually replace the current paper tests, those who want to sit the test in person or who need an interpreter will still attend a VicRoads customer service centre.
It is not yet clear whether the move to online testing will help address the backlog in learner tests created by last year’s COVID lockdowns. There is currently a four-month wait for in-person learner tests in Melbourne and a three-week delay in regional Victoria.
Wait times are shorter for driver’s licence tests, with a six-week wait in Melbourne and a four-week delay in regional Victoria. VicRoads expects waiting times for licence tests to return to pre-COVID levels by June.
To help clear its licence-testing backlog, VicRoads has set up 12 temporary test sites in Ringwood, Mulgrave, Cranbourne, South Morang, Box Hill, Kew, Essendon Fields, Coolaroo, Richmond, Narre Warren and two sites in Pakenham.
Since the resumption of licence testing in September 2020, more than 395,000 tests have been delivered and another 105,000 tests have been booked.