Supervising a learner driver
While many learner drivers get tuition from professional driving instructors, many will also want additional driving practice and some tuition from a parent, other relative or a friend. This page provides information for people supervising learners.
Supervising driver requirements
Supervising drivers must:
- Hold a current full Australian driver licence – not a learner or provisional licence
- Have a good understanding of the road rules
- Be a competent driver
- Be able to effectively communicate information and ideas clearly.
Blood alcohol limit
The blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for you while you are supervising a learner is under 0.05. It is also illegal to supervise under the influence of drugs.
Learner Driver Log Book
As the supervising driver, you will need to mark off the learner’s progress against a range of key tasks contained in their Learner Driver Log Book. The book includes instructions on how to do this.
Remember, you are a role model
You are both a role model and mentor for your learner driver. You should support and help them become a safe and skilled driver. You also need to be patient and calm.
It is a good idea to review your own driving habits by:
- Reading the Road Users’ Handbook to familiarise yourself with current road rules
- Ensuring you comply at all times with traffic lights, signs and road markings
- Ensuring you leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front
- Looking well ahead and checking 'blind spots' and vision blockouts
- Driving at a suitable speed for conditions
- Responding appropriately to hazards
- Being patient and courteous with other drivers
- Reading the Learner Driver Log Book to understand the content and learning goals.
12 tips for better learner supervision
When you're supervising your learner driver:
- If either you or the learner driver is tired, upset or stressed, reschedule the practice session to another time
- Try frequent, short practice sessions in the beginning
- Use the Learner Driver Log Book task key points as a guide to practice sessions
- Begin with the easiest tasks then, once they have been mastered, move to the more difficult tasks
- Discuss then demonstrate new tasks before getting the learner to attempt them
- Use 'commentary driving' which involves the driver and passenger talking about what is happening inside and outside the vehicle
- Start the learner practising on quiet streets, preferably in daylight, before moving onto busier roads and more challenging conditions
- Allow the learner to proceed at his or her own pace
- Don’t criticise mistakes. Calmly discuss what happened and allow the learner to try again
- Be positive and offer praise when the learner successfully completes a task
- Emphasise the importance of developing a sensitivity to speed. They need to understand that the faster a vehicle travels, the more difficult it becomes to respond to potential hazards. When involved in a crash, the faster a vehicle is travelling, the more devastating the outcome
- Avoid using the radio, mobile phone or talking to other passengers while the learner is practising.
Free workshops – helping learner drivers become safer drivers
Free workshops for parents and supervisors of learner drivers are conducted around NSW. The workshops offer practical advice on how to help learner drivers become safer drivers, and cover topics such as:
- How to use the Learner Driver Log Book
- Planning driving sessions
- How to deal with difficulties that may arise during driving practice
- The importance of giving your learner constructive feedback.
For information about workshops in your area, call us on 13 22 13.