Hazard Perception Test now available online

A busy CBD intersection with complex road directions in Melbourne.

Tom Hounslow

Posted October 12, 2021


A new platform helping young and inexperienced drivers stay safe on the road.

It might be an uncomfortable fact for any parent of a P plater to know, but data shows that probationary drivers have a greater crash risk compared to any other demographic using Victorian roads. TAC data shows that the number of probationary driver crashes reduces by about a third following the first year of driving experience. 

The statistic further highlights the importance for Learner drivers to be aware of the hazards and dangers they will face when getting behind the steering wheel of a vehicle.

Before attempting a driving test, novice drivers, those who need to convert to a probationary licence and those who will convert to a full licence need to pass the Hazard Perception Test. The computer-based test is specifically designed to evaluate the driver’s ability to anticipate, recognise and respond to real-world hazards in real-time.

“Hazard perception is critical to driving. Split second decisions can be the difference between a near miss or a crash. New drivers in particular need to know how to effectively scan the road and surroundings to allow enough time to respond to hazards,” says RACV’s Policy Lead-Safety Elvira Lazar.

“Focusing only on the vehicle in front means drivers can miss what’s happening up ahead. It’s important to form good habits early.”

According to VicRoads, the Hazard Perception Test has been partly responsible for a 20 per cent reduction in the rate of fatal and serious crashes involving drivers between 18 and 20 years of age since its introduction in 2008.

Until late September of 2021, to complete the Hazard Perception Test participants would need to make an appointment at VicRoads and attend a Customer Service Centre. But not anymore. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, aspiring drivers were faced with a roadblock. Following the success of VicRoads’ online Learner Permit Test (launched in April 2021 which saw almost 45,000 Victorians attempt the test over six months), the Hazard Perception Test has also been made available online.

Following the launch of the Hazard Perception Test Online more than 6,000 users attempted the test within its first week.

What is the Hazard Perception Test?

Before any learner driver can attempt their Drive Test, they must first complete 120 hours of supervised driving and have successfully completed the Hazard Perception Test.

Presented by a series of interactive videos and animations, each participant is shown 25 scenarios where they are asked to make an action within a timed period, such as when to apply brakes or safely make a turn. The scenarios vary from suburban environments with children playing, a busy CBD with traffic jams, or a lonely winding country road – just to name a few.

Before you take the test, or if you want to brush up on your skills, there is a free practice test to get you warmed up. 

Girl sitting in front of laptop celebrates passing exam.

The Hazard Perception Test Online had more than 6,000 users attempted the test within its first week. Image: Getty. 


 

Applicants are given a total of 45 minutes to complete all 25 questions. If the test taker fails to complete all questions in 45 minutes, the attempt will be automatically considered unsuccessful.

Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t successful, after paying the test fee, each applicant is permitted to two attempts to pass the test. However, if you are unsuccessful twice in one day, you will need to wait until the following day before needing to pay another fee and trying again.

Before attempting the Hazard Perception Test Online, applicants will need:

  • To create and log into a myVicRoads account  

  • a good internet connection 

  • a credit card to pay the test fee 

  • a computer or compatible device (while the test can be taken on a mobile device, it is highly recommended by VicRoads that it be done on a computer)

If you either don’t have access to a compatible device, don’t have a reliable internet connection, or require a translator or interpreter services, you will need to complete the test in-person at a VicRoads Customer Service Centre. 

VicRoads will continue to monitor and review the performance of security and assurance controls throughout the Hazard Perception Test Online pilot stage to ensure that only the person who has logged into their myVicRoads account, is in fact the one taking the test.

Can I take the Hazard Perception Test Online?

To be eligible to attempt the Hazard Perception Test Online, each applicant must be at least 17 years and 11 months old and must have either a valid Australian learner permit or have completed the Learner Permit Test within the past 12 months.

Before attempting the Hazard Perception Test Online, Victorian learner drivers under 21 years of age should have either completed their mandatory 120 hours of supervised driving experience, or be close to completing. 

Once you’re ready to take the test, head to vicroads.vic.gov.au and search for ‘Hazard Perception Test’ to register.

 




The RACV Drive School goes beyond the VicRoads four stages of learning. Find out more →


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