Every full driver’s license holder will pass through the novice status. Novice drivers are carefully screened and monitored by WA’s licensing authority since usually this group composes of young teenagers and first-time drivers. Stiff rules and penalties are set up to avoid crashes and accidents involving these inexperienced drivers.
A person will have a novice status in driving for at least two years or accumulated period of two years. A novice driver may be a:
A novice driver may be further classified into type 1 and type 2. Type 1 novice driver pertains to a first time learner’s permit holder and has held a driver’s license for at least one year. A type 2 novice driver is one who has held a driver’s license for more than one year but less than two years.
The first rule that is drummed into the heads of novice drivers is that they must display their L and P plates at all times.
Since June 30, 2008 and July 1, 2008, night-time restrictions and zero blood alcohol concentration (BAC) have been imposed on novice drivers. It is prohibited to drive from 12 midnight to 5 in the morning. However, exemption from this rule may be sought for education or employment purposes. The applicant for exemption will have to submit proof from his employer or school that he needs to drive during the restricted hours.
Effective November 12, 2012, a novice driver must successfully complete 50 hours of supervised driving. The first 25 hours must be accomplished before the driver will take his Practical Driving Assessment (PDA) and the next 25 hours after passing the PDA.
A graduated demerit point system was implemented last December 1, 2010. The system provides that only 3 demerit points are recorded against type 1 novice drivers but if the points reach 4 or more they will be disqualified from driving for at least 3 months. Type 2 novice drivers who have accumulated 8 or more demerit points will be disqualified from driving for at least 3 months.
Novice drivers who violate the zero BAC rule will be fined, penalized with demerit points and in extreme cases will also be disqualified from driving. If their BAC is 0.0 to 0.02, the fine may be between $150 to $300 and accrual of 3 demerit points. For a BAC of 0.02 to 0.05, the novice driver will be disqualified from driving for 3 months aside from a fine of $150 to $300.