| August 14, 2020
Glimmer of hope for learner drivers
Thousands of prospective learner drivers seeking to get their learners’ permit could soon have good news thanks to the lobbying of The Nationals.
Member for Lowan Emma Kealy said this week the state government had confirmed it is “actively investigating” providing the learners’ permit application online.
Ms Kealy said during the Public Accounts and Estimate Committee (PAEC) hearings, Nationals MP Danny O’Brien questioned the Minister for Transport Infrastructure about the test going online.
“In response to repeated calls from The Nationals to move the learner driver test online, senior transport staff have confirmed that the issue is under consideration,” Ms Kealy said.
“We are all very aware of the need to take measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, however, this is already a computer-based test which could be done safely online.
“Getting your Ls is a rite of passage for young people in country Victoria.
“Unlike in Melbourne where there are endless options to get you from A to B, a driver’s licence is crucial for young people in our part of the world where public transport is virtually non-existent.
“It helps take the pressure off regional families who have to travel long distances each day to attend school, medical appointments or to do the shopping and play sports.
“In a time when our youth are being asked to cope with online learning, not interacting with their friends and not being able to play sport we need to keep some normality for them - sitting for their learners’ permit should be an easy part of life we can offer them.”
Ms Kealy said even before COVID-19, there were massive waiting lists for permits.
“Suspension of the computer-based learner tests has worsened the wait times and the government needs to rectify this issue,” Ms Kealy said.
“During the few weeks driving tests were permitted to resume, VicRoads had an estimated 100,000 tests to reschedule before reopening for new bookings.
“The government must commit now to moving the learner driver test online to ensure that young people in western Victoria are not further disadvantaged.”
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