NSW DTA offers Safe Return to Work plan for Members in relation to Covid-19

Summer Tips for Safer Driving

This summer will likely bring an unprecedented number of Learners, lessons and young drivers on the road after lock-downs and backlogs of licence testing. We need you to give ALL drivers the tools and tips to stay safe as we come out of six challenging months and look forward to the warmer, happier season ahead.
Testing Update: Penrith Mobile bookings available

Service NSW has told us they have improved wait times of about16 work days across NSW. Now until 14 November, Penrith Mobile Test Centre has many available Driving Test slots and will stay open until early 2021. Note the facility will NOT be available 15 Nov thru 7 Dec. So book now for the Howell Oval, Penrith (parking off Station Street) on 132 213. See the location map.

Five Tips for Risk-Reduced Driving

With more drivers on the road in summer, please flag these tips to Learner drivers: safety starts with the basics.

1. Heat Exhaustion

Extreme heat takes a toll on vehicles and people. Here’s how…

Cars need care:
  • Avoid tyre blowouts by watching tyre pressure (check plate inside door) & tread at least 3mm deep
  • Check brakes frequently for fluid levels above reserve
  • Check cooling system fluid levels
  • Change A/C from recycle to refresh every 20 minutes as the air turns stale and becomes heavily laden with CO2 which hastens fatigue.
People need care:
  • Heat or sun can cause drowsiness. Avoid fatigued driving after sun or sport.
  • Shoes are wise, better than barefoot, thongs hazardous.
  • Wear sunnies to reduce glare and fatigue.
  • Carry bottled water to spare, especially country driving.

2. Mobile Phone is Deadly Distraction

Holiday destinations are top of mind with many drivers so their alert-levels may slip for road use especially if checking maps or talking.

Even with ‘hands free’ mobile phones allowed full licence drivers, P-platers are not allowed Blue Tooth use. Urge young drivers to avoid convos and screens while driving –one of the highest contributors to crashes at 41% for those under 26 years .1

1.SOURCE: MY NRMA, Can’t Talk, Driving. 2018 (data 2008-2016),

3. Weather Tips & Tactics

Be alert for changing weather let alone potential bush fire and smoke conditions. Sudden downpours or flash floods happen with little warning. Watch forecasts and review the single-most essential caution for driving in the wet: Slow down. Even light rain on parched roads can make surfaces slippery bringing up oils from the tarmac. Urge young drivers to exit roadways and wait out the storm if visibility is compromised. Also avoid drive times into the sun at morning or dusk when visibility at risk.

4. Hygiene Helps

Post-COVID (fingers crossed) or anytime, keep hand sanitiser on hand and wipe down vehicle interiors and door handles regularly. Sensible advice not only for instructors but also to pass on to drivers who may be entertaining more passengers this summer. Also, we continue to recommend wearing Face Masks for the months ahead.

5. Courtesy, Common Sense, Cyclists

Construction zones and traffic delays wreak havoc on even experienced drivers. Check routes and drive times in advance. Also be aware many holiday drivers are travelling in unfamiliar areas that may mean sudden change in driving behaviour. Take special care for more cyclists on the road. For Cycling Safety allow at least 1m clearance up to 60km/hr or 1.5m clear with speeds above 60km/hr.

A silly summer experience…

We’d like to hear strange or outrageous Learner Driver lesson experiences so share them in an email with us!

NSW DTA Admin Support Karen Robbins recalls: “My son dashed out for his driving lesson pick up and I watched them sit out front for awhile. After 10 minutes, he trudged back inside long-faced. “What’s up?’ I asked.

‘I couldn’t sit properly. He wouldn’t take me. Couldn’t rest my back on the seat because of my terrible sunburn.”

Needless to say no lesson that day. But another life lesson learned!

Refresh your road safety knowledge 

Among many safety initiatives, The Centre for Road Safety encourages low-risk driving during the learning stage and beyond. You can find useful information, resources and campaigns on why and how to stay safe on the road available on the Centre for Road Safety website.

You can find the latest version of NSW Road Rules listing more than 300 separate rules and definitions on a page for NSW legislation Road Rules.

Have a safe, happy summer ahead!

Help them ‘drive between the flags’ with our special tips for safer summer driving. We are here for you and open for your inquiries except for Public Holidays (or limited availability we announce on Facebook). Let us know how we can help on driver training topics or resources. Stay tuned for our SLPs and 2020 Year in Review presentation coming soon.

Stay safe!

Authored by Karen Robbins, NSW Admin Support, with full Committee review and approval.
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