For your learner, the restricted test is about one thing: gaining their freedom. But if they want to achieve that goal, they need to show they meet very specific standards.

You'll want to read up on the restricted test requirements, so you know that as a coach you’ve covered all the necessary skills.

When performing driving tasks during the test, here are the key skills the testing officer will be looking for:

Search

Your driver must search forward and to both sides to identify potential hazards, including traffic in side streets ahead. Good drivers search out to 12 seconds ahead. This gives the driver more time to respond to any situations that might arise.

Mirror use

Your driver must check mirrors often enough to be aware of surrounding traffic. This means looking in the mirrors:

  • before and after turning,
  • when changing lanes,
  • when pulling out or returning to the kerb,
  • when stopping or slowing down,
  • every 8-12 seconds when driving straight (depending on traffic conditions).

As drivers gain more experience, checking mirrors should get quicker and become more instinctive.

Looking over the shoulder

Your driver must look over their shoulder in the appropriate direction if there is any likelihood of another road user having moved up into their blind spot. This means checking over their shoulder (in the appropriate direction) before pulling out from the kerb, turning (if necessary), changing lanes, merging or parking.

Speed control

Your driver must travel at a safe speed and within the speed limit. The safest speed may be slower than the posted speed limit, especially when the weather is bad, the light is poor, or there is heavy traffic. Your driver must drive to the conditions. They must also not stall the vehicle at any time.

Braking 

Your driver must brake smoothly and effectively in all situations.

Signal use 

Your driver must indicate in the appropriate direction for at least three seconds before changing direction. This means when pulling out from or returning to the kerb, turning, changing lanes, entering or exiting roundabouts merging into traffic, crossing the centreline (or the centre of an unmarked road) and prior to commencing a parallel parking manoeuvre. 

Note: On some smaller roundabouts it may not be possible to signal for the full three seconds.

Gap selection 

Your driver must choose the first available appropriate (i.e. safe) gap before moving into traffic, including at intersections and when merging.

Position

Your driver must at all times position the car on the road in a safe and legal position. That includes keeping an appropriate following distance of two to four seconds depending on conditions, and keeping an appropriate space around the car in traffic, on both marked and unmarked roads. 

Road rules

Your driver must know the road rules and be able to apply them at all times during the test.