Learners circling the date to go for a licence
THE next generation of drivers will take to our roads soon with Queensland's learner drivers able to sit for their P-plate practical driving test from June 15.
After being forced to suspend lessons on March 27 due to COVID-19 restrictions, Elite Driving Education instructor Sue Macklyn resumed lessons yesterday and is excited to help learner drivers get their licence.
"Learners are happy to be having lessons again which is nice and I really do enjoy the job," Mrs Macklyn said.
"I'm working through a backlog of learners that had booked and paid upfront before lessons had to cease.
"This week and next, especially next, are filling up quick."
Mrs Macklyn said that she had two students who had their P-plates test booked at the end of March but the COVID-19 lockdown meant that they had to wait a little longer.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said with coronavirus restrictions easing and Queenslanders smashing the curve, transport authorities have begun preparing for the return of driving tests with new measures in place to ensure examiners and learner drivers are safe.
The approved COVID-safe plan includes mandatory screening questions, vehicle cleaning requirements and reinforcement of general health and hygiene measures.
"Heavy vehicle driving tests resumed last week and with Queensland being among the best-performing states in stopping the spread of COVID-19, light vehicle tests will recommence on June 15 to support jobs and keep our economy moving," Mr Bailey said.
"New driving examiners are being brought on board and tests will be conducted six days a week to help catch up on the number of learner drivers whose tests were suspended.
Mr Bailey said a booking process would be introduced to prioritise learner drivers who had their tests suspended due to the pandemic, and those who urgently needed their P-plates for economic, health, and job reasons.
Mrs Macklyn said that she undertakes a strict regimen of cleaning and hygiene practices to ensure the safety of the students and herself.
"The car is wiped inside and out before and after they get in," Mrs Macklyn said.
"We glove up and discuss coronavirus and ask questions like are they feeling unwell, just the normal questions we've been asking throughout the pandemic.
"There are face masks if they want to wear them.
"We've got to keep working at it, you can't get complacent because once that kicks in we will be back to square one."
The fee for learner licence renewals is being waived until three months after practical driving tests resume. This includes learner licences that have expired.