Supervising a learner driver

Find out who can supervise a learner driver, the rules on blood alcohol limits, plus: tips on teaching someone to drive.

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Who can supervise a learner driver?

To supervise a learner, you must hold a current full Australian driver licence.

Both a supervisor and a learner driver can be fined if the supervisor does not have a full Australian licence.

What is the required blood alcohol limit for supervisors?

While you are supervising a learner, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is under 0.05.

It is also illegal to supervise if you have illegal drugs present in your system or if you're under the influence of drugs.

Before you supervise a learner

A supervisor is a role model and a mentor for their learner driver. Before you begin to supervise a learner, it is a good idea to:

  • refresh your knowledge of the road rules with the Road User Handbook
  • review your driving habits
  • learn to communicate road information calmly and clearly
  • read the learner driver log book to understand the learning goals.

Review your driving habits

To prepare for supervising a learner, take some time to review your habits on the road:

  • practise 'commentary driving' (describing aloud what you're doing as you're driving)
  • make sure you comply with traffic lights, signs and road markings
  • leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front
  • look well ahead for hazards, check your mirrors and 'blind spots'
  • drive at a suitable speed for the conditions
  • be careful and patient with other road users.

Find more information about reviewing your driving habits at Keys2drive.

Log books and log book apps

Familiarise yourself with the log book that your learner driver will use to record their practical experience. A supervisor needs to mark off a learner's progress in their log book.

A learner can use a paper log book or a digital log book app. Both the book and app include instructions on how to record practical sessions.

Tips for practice sessions with a learner

When you're organising a practice session:

  1. Reschedule the practice session if you or the learner driver are tired, upset or stressed.
  2. Try frequent, short practice sessions in the beginning.
  3. Use the key tasks and learning goals described in the log book as a guide for practice sessions.
  4. Remember to begin with the easiest tasks, then move to more difficult tasks.
  5. Allow the learner to proceed at their own pace – don't force them to attempt tasks they're not ready for.
  6. Start practice sessions on quiet streets, preferably in daylight. Gradually progress to busier roads and more challenging conditions.

When you're in the car:

  1. Avoid distracting a learner driver while they are practising. Try not to use the radio, a mobile phone or have conversations with other passengers.
  2. Discuss, then demonstrate, new tasks before asking your learner to attempt them.
  3. Be positive and offer praise when the learner successfully completes a task.
  4. Don't criticise mistakes. Calmly explain and discuss what happened and allow the learner to try again.
  5. Use 'commentary driving' (describing aloud what you're doing as you're driving).
  6. Help your learner develop a sensitivity to speed. Learners need to understand that it becomes more difficult to respond to hazards the faster a vehicle is moving.

Free workshops for supervisors

Free workshops for supervisors are conducted around NSW. These workshops offer practical advice on how supervisors can help learners become safe drivers. They also cover topics such as:

  • how to use a log book
  • how to plan a practice session
  • how to deal with difficult situations during practice sessions
  • giving constructive feedback to a learner driver.

For information about workshops in your area, call us on 13 22 13.

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