The Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell is pleased the Andrews Labor Government has finally listened to her call to implement a safe and secure online learner’s permit test but has slammed the “many months” timeframe to implement the program.
Ms Lovell called for a remote online testing system for computer-based learner’s permits and hazard perception tests in State Parliament in August, to address the current backlog in testing caused by VicRoads’ suspension of testing in Victoria because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ms Lovell is also sponsoring a Victorian Parliament e-petition initiated by Shepparton man David Doherty, calling on the State Government to implement the system so that young Victorians can start to learn to drive sooner.
In an interview with ABC Radio this week, Labor Minister Ben Carroll agreed with Ms Lovell that the time had arrived for the learner’s permit test to be completed online but provided no details as to when such a program would be implemented. Hours later, Mr Carroll confirmed any changes to the system would take “a number of months.”
Ms Lovell welcomed the recent resumption of driver testing by VicRoads but said that the delay in deciding to move to remote online testing had caused an unacceptable ongoing backlog for young drivers.
Ms Lovell said it was important to point out that a remote online testing system does not endanger the general public in any way because the new learner driver still needs to attain 120 hours of driving experience as normal prior to attempting the probationary licence test.
Ms Lovell said a secure online testing system for learner’s permits would allow VicRoads staff to concentrate on the thousands of applicants who have been forced to wait months to obtain their probationary licence.
Comments attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell:
“Labor’s inaction means there is now a backlog of applicants that runs into the tens of thousands, including young people needing their probationary licence to take up apprenticeships or travel to university.
“I am glad Minister Carroll has finally agreed with me to put learner’s permit testing online, but hours later stated that an investigation into such a program would take “a number of months.”
“Experts have told us that an online program can be up and running within weeks and the Minister needs to implement it immediately so our young drivers can get on the road quicker.
“I am proud to sponsor David Doherty’s petition and congratulate him and his family on their campaign to help young Victorian drivers.”
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