Supervising a learner driver
While many learner drivers take lessons from professional driving instructors, many will also want additional driving practice and some guidance from a parent, relative or friend. This page provides information for people supervising learners.
Supervising driver requirements
To supervise a learner, you must
- Hold a current full Australian driver licence – not a learner or provisional licence
- Have a good understanding of the road rules
- Be a competent driver
- Be able to effectively communicate information and ideas clearly.
Blood alcohol limit
The blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for you while you are supervising a learner is under 0.05. It is also illegal to supervise under the influence of drugs.
Learner driver log book and digital log book apps
Learner drivers need to record their practical experience in a log book. They can choose to use either a paper log book, or a digital log book app.
As the supervising driver, you'll need to mark off the learner's progress against a range of key tasks listed in their log book. Both the book and app include instructions on how to do this.
Remember, you are a role model
You are both a role model and mentor for your learner driver. You should support and help them become a safe and skilled driver. You also need to be patient and calm.
It is a good idea to review your own driving habits by:
- Reading the Road Users Handbook to familiarise yourself with current road rules
- Making sure you comply at all times with traffic lights, signs and road markings
- Leaving plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front
- Looking well ahead and checking 'blind spots' and vision blockouts
- Driving at a suitable speed for conditions
- Responding appropriately to hazards
- Being patient and courteous with other drivers
- Reading the Learner Driver Log Book to understand the content and learning goals.
12 tips for better learner supervision
When you're supervising your learner driver:
- If either you or the learner driver is tired, upset or stressed, reschedule the practice session to another time
- Try frequent, short practice sessions in the beginning
- Use the Learner Driver Log Book task key points as a guide to practice sessions
- Begin with the easiest tasks then, once your learner has mastered those, move on to more difficult tasks
- Discuss then demonstrate new tasks before asking your learner to attempt them
- Use 'commentary driving' - talk about what is happening inside and outside the vehicle
- Start the learner practising on quiet streets, preferably in daylight, before moving onto busier roads and more challenging conditions
- Allow the learner to proceed at their own pace - don't force them to attempt tasks they're not ready for
- Don't criticise mistakes. Calmly explain and discuss what happened and allow the learner to try again
- Be positive and offer praise when the learner successfully completes a task
- Emphasise the importance of developing a sensitivity to speed. Learners need to understand that the faster a vehicle travels, the more difficult it is to respond to potential hazards. When involved in a crash, the faster a vehicle is travelling, the more devastating the outcome
- Avoid using the radio, mobile phone or talking to other passengers while your learner is practising.
Free workshops – helping learner drivers become safer drivers
Free workshops for parents and supervisors of learner drivers are conducted around NSW. The workshops offer practical advice on how to help learner drivers become safer drivers, and cover topics such as:
- How to use the Learner Driver Log Book
- Planning driving sessions
- How to deal with difficulties that may arise during driving practice
- The importance of giving your learner constructive feedback.
For information about workshops in your area, call us on 13 22 13.