Learner Driver Training And Testing On Freeways | K53 Blog

Both learner driver training and driving licence testing on freeways seem to have some anomolies as far as the K53 driving licence test is concerned (see link at the end of this blog post).

R402 - Single Carriageway Freeway Begins signApparently learner drivers are not taught how to drive on a freeway, and it seems too that not all examiners (if any) take their candidates on a freeway as part of the K53 driving licence test. Yet there is a test module for entering a freeway and another one for exiting a freeway.

Despite this, the road requirements for the test route do not include freeways. This begs the question: why, then, have test modules for freeways if the candidate will not be tested on a freeway?

Below are extracts from the official K53 test requirements used by driving licence test examiners.

 

2.3 Requirements for road test

The road test may only commence on the successful completion of the yard test. Every driving licence testing centre shall have at least two pre-established routes. The test shall be conducted on anyone of these routes.

The following features shall be included in every test route:

(a) A road, with more than one lane in the same direction, containing at least two controlled intersections and clearly demarcated road markings where a lane change shall be done.

(b) At least one intersection controlled by four-way stop signs.

(c) At least four intersections controlled by stop signs or traffic lights.

(d) At least two intersections controlled by yield sign(s)—

(i) where the applicant shall yield right of way at one of the intersections; and

(ii) where the applicant has right of way at one of the intersections.

(e) A quiet road where the emergency stop shall be executed.

(f) None of the intersections forming part of a test route shall be crossed more than twice from the same direction.

(g) At least 65% of the test route shall consist of public roads in an urban area.

(h) A right turn shall be made at least at two of the intersections mentioned in (c).

(i) Crossing of two-way traffic shall be made at least at two intersections.

(j) Flashing green arrow indicators for turning vehicles shall not form part of the crossings mentioned in (h) and (i).

 

Note, no mention is made of freeways.

YET … there are K53 test modules related to freeways, as follows.

 

MODULE 53: Freeways – entering

1. Select appropriate lane of the on-ramp.

2. Check rear-view mirror(s) and appropriate blind spot.

3. Signal intention, if applicable.

4. Accelerate, if necessary.

5. Check rear-view mirror(s), if applicable.

6. Decelerate, if necessary.

7. Brake, if necessary.

8. Yield in accordance with traffic pattern, road traffic signs, signals, rules and markings.

9. Stop, if necessary.

10. Select gear, if necessary.

11. Observe, if applicable.

12. Move off/proceed, if necessary.

13. Check the necessary blind spots.

14. Merge with traffic and obtain sufficient clear space.

15. Cancel signal.

Note A: Drive between edge lines of the on-ramp.

Note B: Do not overtake on a single lane on-ramp.

Note C: A left and right blind spot check shall be done upon entering a freeway.

Note D: Additional blind spot checks for a safe gap may be necessary.

 

MODULE 54: Freeways – exiting

1. Obey all road traffic signs, signals, rules and markings.

2. Check rear-view mirror(s) and appropriate blind spot.

3. Signal intention.

4. Check blind spots to the right and left.

5. Maintain speed where possible and enter off-ramp.

6. Cancel signal.

7. Check rear-view mirror(s).

8. Decelerate, if necessary.

Note A: Drive between edge lines of the off-ramp.

Note B: Do not overtake on a single lane off-ramp.

 

So, where does that leave learner drivers?

Good question! — especially as learner drivers are indeed allowed to drive on freeways with a learner’s licence provided they comply with the requiremenst of having a licenced driver in the vehicle with them (with a valid driving licence for that class of vehicle).

Should the test route not include a freeway, provided a freeway is within a specified number of kilometres of the testing station? Obviously, for candidates who live in a town or city that is far from any freeway this may be impractical, hence the inclusion of a provision regarding the proximity of a freeway. But then perhaps that candidates learner’s licence should be endorsed to exclude driving on a freeway, just as licences are endorsed for people who are only allowed to drive when wearing spectacles.

Here’s an article posted at the insurance section of the ArriveAlive.co.za website
Should we not be testing learner drivers on ability to drive on the freeway as well?

It would be interesting to hear what the testing authorities and driving instructors have to say about this, in the ArriveAlive.co.za Comments section of that Web page.

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