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Q-SAFE review

Q-SAFE is Queensland’s current practical driving test, designed to evaluate a person’s ability to drive safely and correctly in different driving situations.

The independent review of Q-SAFE was announced in September 2010. This was the first substantial review of Q-SAFE, since it was introduced in 1998. The review examined whether Q-SAFE can be strengthened for current and future generations of Queensland novice drivers.

The final review report from the expert panel was made available for public comment in August/September 2012. The Minister for Transport and the Queensland Government will now consider the recommendations in conjunction with the public feedback.

Q-SAFE Review – final report

Independent review

An expert panel was commissioned. It included experts from government and industry to oversee the review. The panel acted as an advisory group, providing subject matter expertise and advice to the former Minister.

The expert panel was chaired by the former Member for Bulimba, Di Farmer MP. It also included:

  • Gary Fites, independent consultant 
  • Professor Barry Watson, Director, Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety, Queensland
  • Brett Pointing, Assistant Commissioner, Queensland Police Service
  • Mike Stapleton, General Manager (Road Safety, Registration and Licensing), Department of Transport and Main Roads
  • Dr Judith Lloyd, A/General Manager (Transport Services), Department of Transport and Main Roads.

The expert panel:

  • provided independent policy and road safety expertise
  • provided advice on specific licensing issues
  • facilitated timely and effective conduct of the Q-SAFE review.

The Q-SAFE review included extensive industry and community consultation. The expert panel monitored and reviewed the outcomes of community consultation and research, and prepared a final report containing recommendations for consideration by the Queensland Government. The final report was submitted in January 2012.

Frequently asked questions

Why was Q-SAFE being reviewed?

Young drivers are one of Queensland’s most at risk groups on the road. Q-SAFE is their entry point to driving unsupervised on Queensland roads.

Enhancements to the Graduated Licensing System (GLS) were introduced from 1 July 2007, to improve young driver safety. The GLS is currently being independently evaluated, with the results expected at the end of 2013.

Q-SAFE was not reviewed as part of the GLS review, and has not been substantially altered since its introduction in 1998.

It was considered timely to take a fresh look at Q-SAFE. The review assessed if there is an opportunity to better align the test with increased skills of learner drivers brought about by the enhanced GLS.

What elements of Q-SAFE were reviewed?

The Q-SAFE review analysed and made recommendations on the following:

  • the Q-SAFE practical driving test, including:
    • development of best practice practical driving assessment
    • suitable ‘cooling off’ or waiting period following a failed driving test 
  • qualifications for driver examiners
  • penalties and sanctions for learner and provisional licence holders in Queensland.

What elements of Q-SAFE were not reviewed?

  • individual test manoeuvres
  • speeding
  • older drivers, including re-testing and medical condition reporting
  • licence testing fees
  • overseas licence holder requirements
  • eco-driving.

How did the Q-SAFE review affect the Graduated Licensing System?

The review only looked at the Q-SAFE practical driving test. The GLS was not part of this review; however it is currently being independently evaluated. Results of the GLS evaluation are expected at the end of 2013.

Was the community consulted?

Yes. The department understands there is strong community interest in the Q-SAFE practical driving test. Community forums took place throughout metropolitan and regional Queensland, including Brisbane, Mt Isa, Bundaberg, Gold Coast, Caboolture, Toowoomba, Townsville, Gatton, Cairns, Yarrabah, Brisbane North and Mackay.

The community was again consulted for feedback on the expert panel recommendations to change the test.

When was the review completed?

The formal part of the review was completed in late 2011 with the Expert Panel delivering their final report in 2012.

Results of consultation: Q-SAFE Review final report

Last updated
03 June 2014