it's in your hands

p plate ready indicator

The P plate Ready Indicator shows you a method for practically assessing the mental skills and driving habits required for safe driving. You can use it as part of the keys2drive free lesson with your accredited instructor; you can also build the ideas into normal driving sessions.

The P plate Ready Indicator looks for the driver qualities that emerge from having long, wide and deep experience.  To download a printer friendly version click here.

If want to have a go at an assessment together with your learner driver, follow the guide below:

Plan a route

Ask the learner to choose a typical P plate journey. Here are some suggestions:

  • Drive to the cinema, stopping by an ATM on the way and then parking nearby.
  • Drive to pick up a friend and take them to sports practice. Once at the friend's house, suddenly remember the friend actually asked to be picked up from work. Go to their workplace and park nearby; then take them to the sports practice.
  • Go to a cafe, stopping to pick up some shopping on the way. Drive home a different way.
  • Take some relatives for a drive. Pick them up at their home, take them to somewhere and then drop them off somewhere different. Return to pick them up and take them home.

Predict performance

Ask your learner to judge how they will go at P plate ready driving using this chart. Make your own predictions too.

Experience Learner Driver Parent/supervisor or Instructor

Control the car smoothly

Comply with road rules

Display good driving habits (even when distracted)

1  2  3  4  5

1  2  3  4  5

1  2  3  4  5

1  2  3  4  5

1  2  3  4  5

1  2  3  4  5

Remain calm in different situations

Remain calm in complex situations

Remain calm in spontaneous situations

1  2  3  4  5

1  2  3  4  5

1  2  3  4  5

1  2  3  4  5

1  2  3  4  5

1  2  3  4  5

I am committed to zero harm target

Act as my own supervisor

Act as my own instructor

Act as my own assessor

1  2  3  4  5

1  2  3  4  5

1  2  3  4  5

1  2  3  4  5

1  2  3  4  5

1  2  3  4  5

1  2  3  4  5

1  2  3  4  5

 

Assess solo driving performance

 

Go for your planned drive with your parent/supervisor or driving instructor and ask them to assess your progress using the checklist in Table One. Table Two will assess how well you identify mistakes and reflect on what you could have done differently.  

Ask your parent/supervisor for an honest rating on your performance, and record your results.

Aim to drive mostly without help when you do the assessment - make it as similar as possible to real P plate driving.

TABLE ONE

Primary Task Secondary Task Checklist Rating

Learner drives for about five minutes towards a planned destination

Adjust radio or CD

Dip mirror for night driving

Move sun visor to shade the driver's side

Adjust air conditioning in vehicle

Clean the windscreen

Speed is steady

Steering is steady

Combined actions are fluent

1  2  3  4  5

1  2  3  4  5

1  2  3  4  5

Learner either changes lanes; drives ahead or right at a multi lane roundabout, zipper or highway merge; or comes to a left lane that ends

Talk to passengers

Hear a mobile phone ring (prearranged)

Say random numbers between 1 & 21

Checks mirrors before indicating or braking

Indicates for longer than two seconds before steering/braking

Head checks before steering

1  2  3  4  5

 

1  2  3  4  5

 

 

1  2  3  4  5

Leaner is given a sudden change of destination – they move from the wrong to the correct lane of traffic; get back on track; enter a street on the right by first turning left; find the tenth building on the opposite side of the street and park outside it

Describes events in the distance that could affect safety

Judges another vehicle’s CAS*

Judges their vehicle's CAS*

Slows to a (given) speed without looking at speedometer

Driver appears calm and acts quickly when:

Facing an unfamiliar situation

The route, destination or task is changed

Traffic situations become more complex

 

 

1  2  3  4  5

 

1  2  3  4  5

 

1  2  3  4  5

* CAS means Crash Avoidance Space. In good conditions, this is equivalent to a minimum of 3 seconds travel space between you and any other car.

TABLE TWO

Reflection Task Checklist Rating
Throughout the drive Learner comments briefly on their mistakes as they make them Seems aware of mistakes made

1  2  3  4  5

At the end of the drive Learner talks about their mistakes in more depth Describes ways to fix the mistakes and explains the role that they played in the incidents

1  2  3  4  5

Leaner demonstrates an understanding of special P plate risks and ways to manage them.

Mentions & explains:

  • Passenger/s in car 
  • Use of mobiles & iPods 
  • Driving at night, particularly after 10 pm 
  • Being tired and driving 
  • Situations involving alcohol or drugs

1  2  3  4  5

Use the results

Give your learner their results and compare them with your learner’s predictions. This will help tell you both whether they have a realistic sense of where they’re at.

Do they match? If there's a discrepancy, discuss why there might be a difference. Are there certain areas that need more attention than they thought? Encourage them to focus on improving these areas and consider taking the assessment again.

Are they really ready?

If you rated you learner low (1, 2 or 3) for any skill, your obviously feel they need to improve it. Ask your learner to have a good think about why these tasks are important to safe driving. Trouble with any of these tasks might suggest that your learner needs to do some more work before transitioning to solo driving.

If you rated your learner highly (4's and 5's) for everything, congratulate them – they’ve done well. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready for solo driving - that is still something both need to discuss and think carefully about.

Be really honest with yourselves and each other: Was it an unusual performance? Are you being a tough enough judge? Are they truly ready? The P plate ready indicator is an exercise in getting you both thinking hard about this crucial question.

Download the P Plate Ready Indicator.