The New Zealand Driving Test: Top Fail Areas

July 21, 2014 at 4:23 PM

New Zealand has the highest death rate on the roads for the age group 16 – 17 and the fourth highest for the age group 18 – 20 out of countries in the OECD.

Graduated licensing has become the norm and the New Zealand Driving Test for learner drivers has become tougher.

For those learner drivers who book a road test and then worry about failing, they have the option of cancelling or rescheduling their road test booking without penalty or cost.

However, learner drivers who take the test and fail will have to pay another $86.60 to re-take the road test.

Hundreds fail New Zealand Driving Test

The tough new learner licence test makes it harder for hopeful driving students to become legal on the road. Figures from the New Zealand Transport Agency show that the pass rate of 80% which was the norm for the old driving test has fallen to just 39% with the new test. So what are some of the most common causes of failure among these students?

The NZTA cites “critical errors” as the main reason and these can be a wide variety of things from speed to checking or not checking mirrors. Here are some of the most common errors that are causing young drivers are failing the New Zealand Driving Test:

  1. Inconsistent mirror use before signalling;
  2. Driving too slowly;
  3. Driving too fast;
  4. Failing to look around carefully (check all mirrors) or signal appropriately before changing lanes or turning;
  5. Failure to proceed on a green light;
  6. Vehicle is not road worthy (this can be anything from bald tires to a burned out tail light and the examiner will conduct a pre-test inspection of your vehicle;
  7. Tailgating – leave sufficient space between your vehicle and the one in front of you (at least three seconds’ worth);
  8. Failing to give way;
  9. Not coming to a full stop at a stop sign; and
  10. Not doing a proper head check MISM – mirrors, indication, shoulder movement.

The new road test is substantially more challenging and has been designed in such a way that the learner driver must put in the full 120 hours of supervised practice if they expect to pass the test.

The previous test had placed a focus on skills such as three point turns and while those are still part of the new testing, more focus is placed on the anticipation of driving hazards.

The NZTA is trying to reduce the large number of young people being killed on the roadways.

Unfortunately, people believe that they have the right skill level and abilities based on the old test and are much less prepared than they should be.

A sharp drop in pass rates occurred when new restricted tests were introduced. There is no doubt that the updated New Zealand driving test demands a much higher driving standard for drivers to pass the test.

Many young drivers are intimidated when faced with the new testing and many say that they are terrified because they know if they fail they might not be able to afford further testing for a while.

Some young drivers say that they feel it is ridiculous to have to pay a further $86 to re-sit the test but the NZTA is unphased.

New practical tests have specifically been designed to be tougher so that the roads will be safer. As a result, any learner drivers will need to clock a minimum of 120 hours of supervised driving practice before they proceed to take the test.

In short the new test is a lot more challenging and those who want to take the test need to ask themselves if they are really ready to take the test before they book it.

Students need to be honest with themselves and put in the hard work and at least 120 hours of supervised practice in order to be ready to pass.

The NZTA says that those young drivers who have completed the 120 hours of supervised practice under their learner permit have a crash rate that is 40% lower than that of learner drivers who complete 50 hours.

These are the types of drivers that they want on the roads because they have more experience and knowledge and are not a hazard on the roadways.

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Category: The Driving Test