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News and media frequently asked questions

This page contains information on our most commonly asked media questions. The responses can be used in all media and attributed to a Department of Transport and Main Roads spokesperson.

If you have any other questions, please email media@tmr.qld.gov.au.

Read the frequently asked questions about:

Drivers and driving

1 July vehicle registration and licence fee increases

Vehicle registration and licence fees are increasing in line with the Government Indexation Policy (GIP) amount of 3.5 per cent from 1 July 2018.

From 2019/20, increases will revert to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Revenue from registration fees is used for construction and maintenance of the state-controlled road network.

This includes activities from the securing of future road corridors through to maintenance and rehabilitation of roads.

To ease the burden of vehicle registration payments customers can choose to pay six monthly or quarterly, in addition to
the standard 12-month payment term.

We also offer a direct debit service, which allows eligible customers to set automatic registration payments from their
bank account or credit card.

Customers can visit our website for a free quote on the cost of registration for their motor vehicles, trailers and vessels.

Senior drivers

We are committed to improving road safety. 

Many older drivers have decades of driving experience and are as safe as any other motorist.

However, we recognise the physical and mental changes that often come with ageing can affect how older people drive.

To minimise the potential risks, drivers aged 75 or older need to be assessed by a health professional on an ongoing basis and carry a current medical certificate whenever they drive.

They must also drive in accordance with any conditions or restrictions on the certificate. 

The certificate is valid for a maximum of 13 months to ensure older drivers have regular check-ups. 

A person’s health professional is best placed to assess their medical fitness to drive. 

This is done using national standards set out in the Assessing fitness to drive for commercial and private vehicle drivers publication (AFTD). 

The professional may require the person to undertake more frequent reviews or seek advice from a specialist doctor.

If the treating health professional or AFTD requires it, further medical advice must be sought from a specialist doctor. 

The health professional then provides a recommendation of medical fitness to drive to TMR. 

In Queensland it is a legal requirement that all drivers be medically fit to drive. 

All licence holders are obligated to report any long-term or permanent medical condition that is likely to adversely affect their ability to drive safely. 

However, anyone, including Queensland Police, can report a driver who they believe has a medical condition that is likely to adversely affect their ability to drive. 

If TMR determines a person has a medical condition that is likely to adversely affect their ability to drive, we can cancel or amend their licence.

Failing to notify TMR of a condition is an offence, which carries a maximum penalty of $7569 (2017/18) and cancellation of their driver licence.  

Learner drivers

Drivers under 24 years of age continue to be over-represented in crash statistics and we regularly review research around licensing requirements.

We are currently finalising PrepL, a new interactive, online learning and assessment program to obtain a learner licence.

Following a successful pilot, we are making some additional improvements and preparing for a wider launch.

A second round of testing with students is currently underway and we aim to have PrepL available to all Queenslanders later this year.

If a person fails the PrepL assessment, they will be able to take the test the next day and keep revising until they pass.

We believe it is more important for learners to understand the material, rather than pass the test the first time.

About PrepL

PrepL is an online learning and assessment program designed to replace the current 30-question paper-based written test for a class C learner licence. 

In addition to benefitting from PrepL’s comprehensive road rules instruction, students will learn why the rules exist, and in a virtual environment, they will experience the consequences of poor driving behaviour. 
 
PrepL is designed to improve learner driver education by focusing on developing safe behaviours and attitudes. It will ensure new drivers know the road rules, and understand the impact of the fatal five road behaviours: speeding, seatbelt use, fatigue, distraction, and drink and drug driving. 

PrepL can be used across multiple devices (smart phones, tablets and computers), allowing Queenslanders to complete their learning and assessment anywhere, anytime and at their own pace.
 
Following a successful pilot of the PrepL program, we are making some additional improvements and preparing for a wider launch. 

A second round of testing with students is currently underway and we aim to have PrepL available to all Queenslanders later this year. 

We intend to rollout the new test in stages so there will be a transition period from the old to new testing platform.

The outcomes of that pilot will inform the timing and final strategy for the PrepL rollout, including the role of paper-based testing.

Feedback from pilot participants has been very positive, with 96% of participants rating PrepL as ‘good’ or ‘very good’.

Participants said they felt PrepL had thoroughly prepared them for driving, and described the program as ‘engaging’ and ‘interactive’. 

More information is available on the Queensland Government website.  

The current written knowledge test has 30 multiple choice questions. 

To pass you must correctly answer at least nine out of 10 questions about giving way and 18 out of 20 questions about road rules and driver licence requirements. 

Each learner has different strengths and weaknesses, and find different aspects challenging. 

Generally, give way questions prove more challenging as they depict on-road driving situations and require practical application of knowledge.

Standard knowledge-based questions can sometimes be a little easier for a novice driver. 

Defensive driving

Queensland’s graduated licensing scheme incorporates mandatory supervised driving experience and incentives for novice drivers to undertake driving lessons with accredited driver trainers, to ensure new drivers are getting the best start to their driving journey.

The use of mandatory hours of practice for novice drivers, professional on-road driving instruction by accredited driver trainers, and supervised driving practice in a wide variety of on-road situations, are generally more beneficial to novice drivers than undertaking defensive driving courses conducted in limited road environments. 

Most drivers develop additional skills which are more important for day-to-day driving, such as hazard perception and the ability to manage distractions, through experience and practice.

The best learning environment for a novice driver is on-road and under the direction of an experienced driver or professional driver trainer.

In addition, Australian and international research has shown that new drivers—particularly young males—who undertake a defensive driving or advanced driving course have a higher crash risk than those who do not.

For these reasons, we are not currently considering introducing defensive driver training as a compulsory requirement to obtain a licence.

We have previously commissioned the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q) to conduct a review of the most recent evidence on driver training and education. 

This review found there was no evidence that advanced or defensive driver training reduces crash risk.

To improve safety for young drivers, we have developed a new online learning and assessment program to give new drivers a safer start. 

The new program, PrepL, represents a significant shift in the way we approach new driver education.  

Participants won’t just learn the rules. 

They will learn why the rules exist and experience the consequences of poor driving behaviour in a virtual environment.  

PrepL is expected to be available later this year (2018).

We are also developing a course for learner driver supervisors. 

The course will give supervisors access to PrepL content and additional guidance materials. 

We also commissioned a preliminary evaluation of the 2007 changes to the Queensland Graduated Licensing System, funded by the Motor Accident Insurance Commission. 

The project was conducted by researchers at the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC). 

The 2007 changes were associated with a 31% reduction in fatal crashes involving young novice drivers.

In 2016, a further evaluation of the GDL reforms was conducted and found some crash and casualty reductions for novice drivers over time. 

Access these reports  

Driver licences—personal information

Why was gender and height removed from licences?

The Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (the Act) was amended in 2013 to provide protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status. In response to this amendment, on 1 October 2016, TMR implemented changes that removed the gender specific indicator from all smartcard products including driver and marine licences. Other states and territories have also made these changes. At the same time, a decision was made to also remove height. TMR still collects this information but does not display it on the card. Gender and height have no bearing on a person’s eligibility for a driver licence or marine licence.

Is the department considering removing other personal data (eye, hair colour, complexion) from forms? If so, why? And when?

TMR is considering removing other personal data such as eye, hair colour and complexion from application forms. This information is not regularly updated and subject to change. The information is self-reported with little to no verification of accuracy. Collection of this information adds to transaction times, can be confusing and some consider it discriminatory.

TMR relies on digital images through facial recognition technology, including evidence of identity documents to confirm a person’s identity on licence application and renewal. TMR is also trialling the removal of paper application forms for in-person driver licensing and registration transactions with a view to  rolling this out across Queensland. The removal of paper application forms is intended to streamline and improve the customer experience. As part of this process we are considering what questions are essential to providing the relevant service and removing those data fields such as height, hair colour and complexion that are no longer used by the department now that we have digital photos and use facial recognition software. 

What evidence is there of complaints relating to gender? How many complaints and when? 

TMR has received a limited number of complaints from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community relating to the collection of gender information. The Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (the Act) was the primary driver for change.

What was the basis of the complaints about discrimination related to height?  How many complaints and when?

TMR is not aware of any discrimination complaints that relate to height.

What consultation, if any, was there over these changes? 

Consultation to remove gender was undertaken with the Queensland Police Service, and Queensland Birth Deaths and Marriages,  Australian Transgender Support Association of QLD, Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland and the LGBTI Legal Service Inc Queensland. 

How were these changes publicised?  

Information about the changes was published on the Queensland Government website. 

How has the dept mitigated against the risk of fraud?

TMR uses facial recognition technology which provides a much more accurate means of verifying a person’s identity. In addition, Queensland Police now have access to Q-Lite tablet devices which allow them to access a person’s licence record and digital photograph at any time. 

Permits

Disabled parking permits

Parking in a disabled parking space is an offence. 

It unfairly inconveniences those who require easier access to a location due to their disability.

The penalty for parking in a disabled parking spot, without a permit, under the Queensland Road Rules is an on the-spot fine of $252 and a maximum penalty of $2,523 (note: as per April 2018) if the matter is dealt with in court. 

This penalty is enforced by the Queensland Police Service. 

Local councils can also set and enforce their own penalty for this offence and the fine amount can vary depending on the local council area. 

Vehicles

Motorised mobility scooters

Mobility devices, including scooters and wheelchairs, are an essential part of life for people with a mobility impairment. 

They improve access to services and greatly enhance an individual's quality of life.

The user of a motorised mobility scooter or wheelchair is not required to hold a medical certificate or a Queensland driver licence. 

However, the device must be registered if it is used in public areas, such as on a footpath.

Under Queensland transport legislation, a motorised scooter or wheelchair used in public areas must not be capable of going faster than 10km/h. 

The user must be able to operate the device safely at all times.

They must also exercise due care and attention for the safety of others. 

This includes travelling at an appropriate speed for the environment, which could mean travelling less than 10km/h.

We are aware the Commonwealth Senate Inquiry into the need for regulation of mobility scooters, also known as motorised wheelchairs, is due to hand down its recommendations in September this year. 

We will consider any recommendations for safety improvements.

Speed limits

School zones

The safety of school children is important.

When deciding to install a school zone, it is essential to ensure the school zone is consistent with our guidelines.

This is to ensure that school zones are implemented consistently across the state.

School zones are intended to promote the safety of children walking, cycling, and getting on and off public transport, on the roads closest to the schools.

The guideline allows for a school zone on multi-lane roads where there is a mid-block crossing or where children are required to cross in large numbers at an intersection, and where there is direct access to the school from the multi-lane road.

If the school zone meets the guideline requirements, then it is the decision of the relevant road authority on whether it installs the school zone.

We undertake detailed risk analyses to determine the school zones that will receive flashing school zone signs.

This process includes consideration of local issues and problem areas raised by schools and communities through their Members of Parliament.

Priority is given to school zones with a high level of vehicle and pedestrian traffic, higher speed limits or visibility problems.

Speed limit reviews

Speed limits on state-controlled roads are determined in accordance with the TMR Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices. 

By following these guidelines, road users can be confident speed limits are consistent. 

TMR conducts speed limit reviews as part of a scheduled program across the state. 

Reviews take several important factors into account, including crash history, traffic volumes, types of vehicles, geography and its role in the road network.

Findings are presented to the local speed management committee, which consists of representatives from TMR, Queensland Police Service, RACQ and local council. 

Members of the committee consider the findings and community feedback, before making decisions on speed limit changes at each location.

Road corridors

Roadside memorials

Roadside memorials have been appearing on Queensland roads for many years.   

The department is accepting of roadside memorials, provided the memorial is not distracting and does not pose a safety hazard to road users.

Memorials may be in place indefinitely, provided they are regularly maintained by family and friends and do not become a road safety hazard.

Background

In January 2009, a policy and guideline about roadside memorials on state-controlled roads was formalised.

Transport and Main Roads developed the guidelines with the aim of being sensitive to the needs of grieving families and communities, while balancing the safety needs of the travelling public.

Generally, a permit is required for people wanting to make use of land adjacent to a state controlled road.   

Due to the sensitivity associated with this type of memorial, the department has waived the requirement for a permit, however, you will need to complete an information form.   

The Roadside memorial information form acts as an application so that memorials can be assessed and managed appropriately, as well as to ensure they don’t pose a safety hazard to road users.   

The form also provides the department with contact details so the appropriate person can be contacted in the event a memorial needs to be relocated due to road safety reasons. 

Tree clearing

The conservation and protection of native fauna, including threatened and endangered species, is important to the department. Road corridors and reserves are maintained to support unique flora and fauna species.

Many state-controlled road reserves have been identified by the Department of Environment and Resource Management as wildlife corridors. Others contain important habitats for endangered fauna. The department assesses the impact of all projects on fauna corridors, fauna habitat and the potential for road kills.

The department designs fauna mitigation measures for all projects, according to the level of risk to species and populations.

We are committed to managing our road network in a manner that addresses environmental outcomes, with tree clearing for any transport infrastructure improvement works kept to a minimum and only carried out where necessary.

Maritime safety

Derelict vessels

Maritime Safety Queensland is committed to protecting the state's waterways and the people who use them, providing safer, cleaner seas.

We continue to remove derelict vessels which pose a high navigational or environmental risk.

It is always the owners’ responsibility to salvage their vessels where they become an environmental or navigational risk.

MSQ works closely with the Department of Environment and Science to ensure the removal of derelict vessels is managed across the key government agencies.

Statistics

Last updated
13 July 2018