Hazard Perception Test: Is it really a licence to print money?

Hannah Miller

Hannah Miller – The Post, September 10, 2011, p. 3

Kerry Faulkner has written an article published in The Post, September 10, 2011, on page 3 reporting on Hannah Miller’s frustration at not being able to pass the Department of Transport’s Hazard Perception Test. The full article follows.

Mosman Park school girl Hannah Miller (17) says WA’s licensing laws are designed to make money for the state government not to help young people be better drivers.
She wrote to the POST in frustration after failing her computer-simulated hazard perception test for a third time.

A spokesman for the Department of Transport said Hannah was among 3818 people who had had to resit the test. At $20 each, that was an income of $76,000.

The test is Hannah’s final step in the long process to qualify as a P-plate driver. She has logged 30 hours practical driving with her mother Margaret.

She had spent close to $500 on driving lessons and various licences and tests.

But she cannot get over the final hurdle which is the test designed to test a driver’s reactions to hazards on the road. She is frustrated that she cannot find out where she is going wrong, particularly as she has scored so highly in the practice tests both at home and at the licensing centre.

She has passed all her other phases first time, including her practical driving test. “On the second paper I received after my test I was given very little feedback about where I could improve but was told I could resit the next day,  she said.

Once I got home I reread my 115-page learner driver book and pondered on what may have caused my failure. The next day I paid and resat the test.

was more confident but once again was unsuccessful. This time I asked how I could improve to pass, but was told they did not know. As a student in the western suburbs I am concerned for people who do not have the time or money to continuously sit this tedious test in which they receive no feedback.

“Observing other road users, I do not think the majority of West Australians holding older licences would pass it. “What about those people who have incompetent computer skills?”

She said the Department of Transport had said she could have a staff member present while she did the test if she failed five times.

Hannah has written to Transport Minister Troy Buswell with her complaint.

A department spokesman said 26,898 people sat the test last year, reaping $537,960. He said the department would not comment on test results of individual candidates, but if a person failed any part of the process then it was fair to assume they were not yet ready to drive without an instructor.


So for me as a vulnerable road user, as a cyclist, I am pleased that Hannah has not passed the test and that the Department of Transport is not telling her what she is doing wrong. I think the telling comment in this article is this statement from the Department of Transport spokesperson:

but if a person failed any part of the process then it was fair to assume they were not yet ready to drive without an instructor.

What Hannah does not seem to get is that she is not fit to drive a vehicle, something that if not used with skill and care can result in the maiming and worse the killing of others! Knowing what she is doing wrong so she can pass the test does not address this fundamental failing in her driving knowledge and skills: her inability to safely respond to hazards.

Instead of complaining about the test, Hannah should get proper driving instructions (clearly her mother is not the appropriate person to go to for instructions) to ensure she has the necessary skills to drive a motor vehicle safely.

So please Hannah stop blaming the “government” and face up to your own failure and address that failure. Get some skills please before you do some damage to yourself or worse someone else! Is that too much to ask?

One Response to Hazard Perception Test: Is it really a licence to print money?

  1. kerry coombes 12 October 2011 at 10:35 PM #

    Do you have permission to copyright this article and photo? Writers and photograghers earn their living from the words they write and the pictures they take. If you pinch them you are stealing thier livelihood.

    Besides which,what has this to do with cycling. Cyclist have become some of the most aggressive and inconsiderate raod users I have ever witnessed; you leave car users for dead in terms of arrogant road use.

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