Over time, we have had a number of enquiries concerning the rules around provisional licences and traffic offences. Getting your driver’s licence is an exciting time in any ones life and a great privilege that allows some personal freedom. However, it is a privilege and with such comes several rules, particularly to those just starting to drive.
When starting out, there are in effect three stages of driver’s licence for the ordinary person – these being, Learner’s (L’s), Provisional 1 (P1’s), and Provision 2 (P2’s) licences. Before moving from one to the other, there are certain regulatory requirements that must be met.
Learner Driver Licence
From your L’s before you can get your P1 licence you’ll need to:
- Hold a learner’s permit for at least 12 months or six months if you’re 25 or over;
- Complete at least 75 hours of supervised driving (including 15 at night); and
- Pass the Hazard Perception Test.
Once you’ve obtained your P1 licence, you will move to P2. Your P1 licence will automatically be upgraded to a P2 licence when:
- You are at least 18 years of age; and
- You have held a P1 licence for a minimum of twelve months.
Provisional Licence Laws and Conditions (P1 and P2)
P licences are subject to several prescribed conditions which, if breached, can result in your loss of licence (and others may incur fines and demerit points).
Prescribed conditions that apply to both P1’s and P2’s include:
- You must not drive a motor vehicle with any concentration of alcohol in your blood or illicit substance in your blood or oral saliva.
- You must not exceed any speed limit by 10km/h or more.
- You must not accumulate four or more demerit points during the provisional licence period.
- You can only drive the class of vehicle stated on your licence.
- You must always carry your provisional licence whilst driving.
- You must not drive a high-powered vehicle while you are under the age of 25 (unless you have an exemption certificate).
- You must not drive over 100 km/h even if the local speed limit exceeds 100 km/h.
Prescribed conditions that only apply to holders of P1 provisional licences and not P2’s include:
- You must display the correct size ‘P’ plates so that they are clearly visible from the front and rear of the vehicle (rear only for motorcycles).
- You must not use any mobile phone function while driving, including hands-free mode and Bluetooth technology or loud speaker operation.
- If you are under the age of 25 years, you must not drive:
- between midnight and 5am, or
- with more than one passenger aged 16 to 20 years (excluding immediate family members)
- unless a Qualified Supervising Driver is seated next to you or you meet the exemption criteria.
As noted, if you breach on of the licence conditions you may find yourself disqualified from driving. It is always best to obtain legal advice about any expiation notice or disqualification notice you received prior to paying to see whether there is any scope to avoid disqualification.
The conditions and further information are on the MyLicence website.
It is of note that Safer Driver Agreements may be available in certain cases – which means that you will be subject to stricter conditions for the duration of your provisional licence. If you breach that agreement you will be disqualified for twice the period of your original disqualification (12 months).
If you obtain a Safer Driver Agreement and you are unable to utilise the appeals process in the Courts for a period of 5 years – so it is important to obtain advice as to the best course of action prior to entering any agreement.
We wish you all the best and safety on the roads – if you need advice or have any questions about the information above, please contact one of our friendly solicitors.