Queensland drivers may soon be forced to take a road rules refresher course before they can renew their licence.
The Transport and Main Roads Minister for Queensland, Mark Bailey MP, says the Queensland Government is seeking feedback on the proposal as part of a broader plan to introduce new measures based on its a road safety summit from earlier this year.
The Palaszczuk Government is considering 10 new measures to reduce the Queensland road toll this year, after the state recorded its highest fatality rate on the roads in 13 years – with 300 people losing their lives in 2022.
Speaking at a press conference this week, as reported by the ABC, Mr Bailey proposed “refresher course” would be a questionnaire-style online test that would be mandatory for all drivers renewing their licence.
The process still hasn’t been detailed beyond Mr Bailey saying it will be an “easy” course aimed at educating motorists on the latest road rules, and safety measures that have introduced within the last five to 10 years.
According to Mr Bailey, drivers won’t have their licence suspended immediately if they fail. Motorists will have multiple attempts at the test in order to pass.
“You basically have opportunities to get it right. It’s really about education, it’s not whether we take your licence off you or not, it’s about educating you as a driver,” Mr Bailey told ABC Radio Brisbane.
The Queensland Government is currently finalising the details around when it will be launched, where motorists can take the test, and troubleshooting the technology before its official introduction.
Mr Bailey also announced plans to suspend drivers who are involved in high-range speeding – more than 40km/h over the limit.
The new rule would see drivers have their licences suspended immediately if it’s passed.
“That’s something we’re looking at,” Mr Bailey told media. “If you get caught and pulled over at that kind of speed then it’s kind of ‘hand over the keys, thanks very much,’ and the car stays where it is, and an immediate suspension.”
The Queensland Government is also looking into new technology that will more closely target drivers using their mobile phones and those who tail gate.
Learner driver course and road safety programs are also expected to receive an update.
Mr Bailey also announced a “Ride to Zero” program targeted at reducing the death toll for motorcyclists.
According to the MP, a quarter of road deaths in Queensland (74 of 300) during 2022 were motorcyclists, the majority of which were caused by single-rider accidents.
The new program will be targeted at primarily new motorcycle riders to help support and create awareness around road safety while riding.
It will also include developing mentor programs, new resources and support motorcycle organisations to increase awareness around riding on Queensland roads.
Hero image: Rusty Clark, via Flickr Creative Commons