Congrats! You’ve managed to pass your restricted test and you’re now allowed to drive on your own.
But remember - just because you've got your restricted licence, doesn't mean you're done with learning about driving.
The restricted phase is about giving you the freedom to gain experience while avoiding the riskiest driving situations for new, young drivers – driving late at night and driving with passengers.
It’s important that you know what the conditions of having a restricted licence are, and that you stick to them – for your safety as well as the road users around you.
The conditions of having a restricted licence are:
- You can drive without a supervisor, but only between the hours of 5am and 10pm.
- You cannot carry passengers without a supervisor, unless they are:
- your spouse or de facto partner
- a child who you live with and who is under your care
- your parent or guardian
- a relative who lives with you and who is on a social security benefit
- someone you look after as their primary caregiver
- You must always have your restricted licence with you when you're driving.
- If you sat the restricted test in an automatic vehicle you can only drive automatic vehicles unless you have a supervisor with you.
Breaching the restricted conditions of your driver licence could result in you receiving 35 demerit points and a fine of $100.
If you breach any other conditions of your driver licence you could receive 25 demerit points and a fine of $400.
Remember the risks
Newly licenced drivers - like yourself - are much more likely to be involved in a crash than more experienced drivers.
That's not because you're a bad driver. It's because you just don't have the same amount of experience as people who have been driving for a long time. You haven't driven in as many different environments and conditions, so it's important that you don't overestimate your ability.
When in doubt, play it safe. Remember the risks involved with driving and never forget your responsibility to keep yourself and others safe on the roads.
Don't ditch your coach
Just because you don’t need to have a supervisor in the passenger seat with you at all times, doesn’t mean you should ditch them just yet. You can carry passengers or drive late at night if you have a supervisor with you.
It’s also a good idea to have a supervisor with you if you’re driving in a new situation for the first time (or don’t have much experience). That could be driving at night when it's wet, on long journeys or in places you’ve never driven before.
If you're under 20, you should also keep in mind that you have a zero alcohol limit. That means if you drive after consuming even one drink you can be charged with drink driving.
If you’re 20 or older, the legal alcohol limit is 250 micrograms per litre of breath or 50 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood. Alcohol effects people differently, however, so if you have any doubt over whether you're safe to drive - don't. Hitch a ride with a friend, or call a taxi instead.
Check out the Road Code unit on alcohol and drugs for more information about blood alcohol limits and the penalties for drunk driving.