Licence testing must resume for region’s young people
18 October 2020
Member for Euroa and The Nationals deputy leader, Steph Ryan, has implored the state government to urgently reinstate learner and probationary licence testing after regional Victoria moved to step 3 restrictions this week.
Ms Ryan said COVID-19 restrictions had meant hundreds of young people across her electorate had been waiting months for a test, and still had no clarity from the government as to when testing would resume.
“A driver’s licence is crucial for young people in rural and regional areas where public transport is virtually non-existent – they need a licence to be able to get to and from work or seek employment. But their jobs and future prospects are being severely hampered by their inability to sit a test,” Ms Ryan said.
“It is imperative that testing resumes now that regional Victoria has commenced step 3 restrictions to give our young people the opportunity to gain their licence.”
Ms Ryan said The Nationals had been calling for L-plate testing and computerised hazard perception testing – a component for a probationary licence – to be delivered online for months, which would help ease the huge backlog of licence applications.
“There’s no reason online testing can’t be done – the technology exists and is available now,” she said.
“The massive backlog means young people will still face a significant wait to be tested even after restrictions lift. In addition to this, young people in rural and regional areas are then limited by the number of testing days available, with many sites only testing one or two days a week in ordinary circumstances.
“Online testing will make a big difference in reducing the backlog and ensuring young drivers do not face further delays.
“The government needs to act now to ensure our young people have the opportunity to access learner and probationary licence tests.”