Online tool way to stay street-legal

DON’T GET CAUGHT: Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant Peter McMenamin has a warning for P-plate drivers. 270714GGC03

DON’T GET CAUGHT: Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant Peter McMenamin has a warning for P-plate drivers. 270714GGC03

A NEW online tool could save P-plate drivers from a run-in with police and hundreds of dollars in fines.

From August 1, the rules in relation to what P-plate drivers can do behind the wheel  will change, and local drivers are being warned not to fall into the trap once it’s too late.

The RMS has changed the list of prohibited vehicles and what constitutes a prohibited vehicle for restricted P1 and P2 licences.

And police warn there is no second chances for drivers once the new rules roll in.

“It’s a significant offence and we do book a number of people,” Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant Peter McMenamin told The Leader.

“A lot of people can just jump into a car and borrow it, without realising exactly what they are driving.”

In fact, P-platers who don’t comply with the new engine restrictions can be slapped with a $506 fine and lose seven demerit points on the spot, and, because P-platers have only six demerit points to forfeit, they lose their licence on the spot for three months.

The suspension can also be doubled if they’ve already lost demerit points.

But police said there was a new tool to quell any confusion among young drivers.

The Centre for Road Safety has developed an online tool that will tell drivers and their parents or carers whether they are allowed to drive the particular vehicle.

“It’s an excellent tool, especially for young drivers in the market, or for one- or two-car families who are looking to get a car,” Senior Sergeant McMenamin said.

“It allows them to check the suitability of the car before purchasing.”

With more than 6500 vehicles in the system, locals can enter the vehicle’s make, year, and model and the tool will instantly reveal whether it’s legal, banned or needs review.

The online tool coincides with new rules that allow P-plate drivers to drive a wider range of turbo, supercharged or V8 vehicles from August 1.

P-plate drivers are banned from driving power to tare mass ratio of more than 130kW per tonne, vehicles classified as high-performance and modified engines will need to be certified by an engineer before they comply with the new rules.

And new and supervising drivers should also take note before they proceed behind the wheel on their lonesome.

“For L-plate drivers, it will help them before they progress to a P1 licence because if they learnt to drive on, for example, a parent’s or a work car, then the tool will show them if they need to find another vehicle,” Senior Sergeant McMenamin said.

To check suitability, click this link 

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