Online test a game-changer

Year 12 studies, exams and COVID-19 restrictions are a lot for anyone to deal with, so 18-year-old learner driver Lara was pleased to be able to go online to complete her Hazard Perception Test.

The new 45-minute online test means learner drivers don’t need to make an appointment, pay an appointment fee or attend a VicRoads Customer Service Centre for an in-person test. 

This greater flexibility and accessibility enabled Lara to fit the test in around her other commitments from the comfort of home, making for a much easier and less stressful experience. 

Launched in September 2021, the online test presents 25 scenarios to check how well drivers can spot and respond to potential hazards. The test focuses on incidents involving other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, which are more likely to involve probationary drivers in crashes.

‘The simulations were realistic and relatable to real life experiences on the road, like pedestrians crossing unexpectedly,’ said Lara. 

A Warragul resident unused to city driving, Lara was glad to see that country situations, including errant kangaroos, were well represented in the test too.

Knowing how to identify and respond safely to hazards protects everyone sharing the road. Statistics show that young and inexperienced drivers are more at risk of crashing within the first 12 months of driving.

As part of Victoria’s graduated licensing system, the Hazard Perception Test helps to reduce this risk by increasing awareness of hazards and equipping new drivers with the skills for safe driving.

Lara thinks one of the biggest hazards for young drivers is distraction. She says minimising distractions, such as mobile phones, loud music and lots of conversation, makes it easier for her to spot hazards and drive safely. 

Now Lara is one step closer to getting her driver’s licence and says her friends are keen to try out the Hazard Perception Test online too. It is available through your myVicRoads account at vicroads.vic.gov.au, along with a free practice test.

Also free is the first online test attempt for customers whose in-person test was suspended because of COVID-19 restrictions. In-person tests, and interpreter services where required, will still be available at VicRoads Customer Service Centres.