Queensland has a graduated licensing system to help reduce fatalities on the roads—particularly among young drivers. The aim of the system is to encourage safer, more proficient drivers, allowing novice drivers to gain more experience and improve their driving skills before they are allowed to progress to a higher type or class of licence.
Research suggests that young drivers and riders, aged 16 to 24 years, are 60% more likely to be involved in a serious crash than licensed mature adult drivers and riders, aged 25 to 59 years.
The graduated licensing system
The following rules apply under the graduated licensing system:
- Your first step to getting your licence is to complete PrepL. You can start PrepL when you are 15 years and 11 months. You can choose to complete the written road rules test but you will have to wait until you are 16 years old.
- The minimum learner licence age is 16 years.
- Learner drivers have to pass a hazard perception test before they can upgrade their learner licence. Learners can attempt the hazard perception test after they have held their learner licence for 6 months.
- Learner drivers under 25 years of age must gain 100 hours of certified supervised driving experience recorded in a learner logbook or logbook app before being eligible to apply for a provisional licence.
- L plates (a black L on a yellow background) and P plates (a red P plate for P1 and green P plate for P2) are compulsory when driving.
- The learner licence period is a minimum of 1 year.
- Mobile phone use, including hands-free, blue-tooth accessories and loud-speaker functions, is restricted for learner and P1 licence holders under 25 years of age.
- Supervisors and passengers of learner and P1 licence holders under 25 years of age can't use a phone that is on loudspeaker but can use a hand held or hands-free mobile phone where the conversation can not distract the driver.
- Learner drivers must pass a practical driving test to progress from a learner licence to either a P1 or a P2 licence (dependant on age).
- A 2-phased P1 and P2 licence system applies if you are under 25 years of age. If you are over 25 you will progress to a P2 after the learner phase.
- Peer passenger restrictions apply to young novice drivers—P1 provisional licence holders under 25 years of age can only carry 1 passenger aged under 21 years between 11pm and 5am.
- High-powered vehicles are restricted for provisional drivers under 25 years of age.
- Restrictions, such as no late night driving, apply for disqualified and suspended young drivers.