All Department of Transport Centres in West Australia generally dish out more fails than passes on the practical driving assessment (PDA).
In WA, the Practical Driving Assessment (PDA) is a 25-45 minute practical test taken with a Department of Transport assessor that is divided into 5 sections (two main assessment items and 3 general point-to-point driving).
Analyst Bob Schumann corresponded with us today stating that the figures vary from location to location due mainly to the demographics of the area, the traffic conditions, and the quality of the local driving instructors training the candidates.
“The statistics are beginning to even out, as the lowest qualifying candidates from other areas are shopping around for what they believe is an easy centre to pass in, and ergo, are lowering the statistics for that location when they proceed to fail their test for the same poor driving they performed at the last location.”
Kelmscott Department of Transport has over the years stood out as a high performing location when it comes to passing tests. We spoke with M. Anderson, highly rated driving instructor from Affordable Driving Lessons Kelmscott in regards to the fairness of different test centres.
“You need to be well prepared to become a safe and experienced road user. You aren’t going to be able to pass your test anywhere if you cannot do the things that make you exactly that. I am meeting more and more poorly trained drivers that never look behind themselves before reversing, can’t steer efficiently, don’t fit in with traffic, and check their mirrors for theatrical purposes rather than functional ones”, he stated. “The problem is candidates practice steering in a way that they think will pass their test and not in a way that is practical and efficient. Candidates check their mirrors in a theatrical manner that they believe will please an assessor without actually using them to drive and fit in with traffic.”
An anonymous instructor added that “Testing a driver’s ability to operate and guide a car, obey road rules, fit in with traffic and respond to hazards when the only training a young candidate has is filling a log book with 50 hours of driving supervised by a parent is unlikely to work either. Since the focus has shifted to a number of hours, “getting the hours up” is a common mistake and generally leads to bad habits. Find a quality instructor. There are plenty of cowboys out there. There are websites to help such as www.bestdrivingschoolsinperth.com.au “