Member for Western Victoria
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party

Learners Permit Test Online Gap

My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Minister for Roads and Road Safety and concerns the soon-to-be implemented learner permit test online. Last year I drew attention to Victoria’s extremely long waiting times for learner permit tests, hazard perception tests and drivers licence tests and suggested the transfer of these tests to online within a schooling environment to assist with clearing the backlog created by COVID-19. I would like to firstly thank the government for this digital transformation by bringing licence testing into the 21st century. However, I have been alerted to a fundamental gap which affects a portion of our already vulnerable population—that is, individuals with cognitive difficulties. I note that VicRoads customer service centres provide support to accommodate individuals with a disability whilst they are attempting the learner permit knowledge test or the hazard perception test, thanks to an assisted test. However, what support interventions have been implemented to assist these disadvantaged individuals who have no other option but to complete the online test and cannot utilise a third party to either read or explain questions to them? People with intellectual disabilities encounter particular challenges that are different to those of people with other disabilities in several essential aspects. For example, they have difficulty learning and applying knowledge and making decisions. They may have difficulty identifying and choosing options at crucial life transition points, and they often have difficulty adjusting to changed circumstances and unfamiliar change. Given the research on this and as we transition to the digital way of life, we must continue to have inclusivity of all abilities at the forefront of our minds, ensuring that no-one is left behind. The action that I seek from the minister is to make allowances to the online learner permit test to accommodate individuals who are unable to attend the test in person and require additional support during the actual test.


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