Before you begin your lessons, you will need to apply for a learner’s licence. You need to visit the traffic department to book your learner drivers test. It is important that you prepare well for the theory papers – there are 3 different papers.
– The rules of the road
– What each of the car’s controls does (i.e. gears, steering wheel, brakes, etc.)
– The meanings of signs, road markings, and signals – and know how to respond to them
– The basic of the K53 driving system
Once you have completed and passed this test, you can begin driving lessons. You and your driving instructor will keep an open dialogue with regards to how ready you are to take the drivers’ licence test. Once you agree that you’re ready, you can book the test.
Before the test, it’s a good idea to get familiar with the driving test routes with your driving instructor and it is also recommended that you complete a practice test with your driving instructor. Both the familiarization of the routes and a mock test will make you feel much more confident when you come to take your real test.
It’s a really good idea to know the procedure of the test beforehand. On your test day, you should arrive at the traffic department quarter of an hour before your test time. It is important that you inspect your car beforehand. You will fail instantly if your car is not deemed to be road worthy so if the tyre pressure is low, the tyre tread is too worn, or there is a lightbulb that is out, you won’t be able to pass.
There are two parts to the K53 test: parking and driving.
The parking part covers parallel parking, alley docking, three-point turn, and incline start. This part of the test is marked out of 50 and it must be completed within 20 minutes. Once this part of the test is over, you begin the driving part.
The driving part lasts for a minimum of 20 minutes and has a maximum score of 160. It is divided into general driving and observations, intersections and traffic, safety and control, and emergency stop and hand signals.
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For each minute of your test, you are allowed 8 penalty points on average. If your test takes exactly 30 minutes, you are allowed a maximum of 240 penalty points. Penalty points are awarded for things such as not showing courtesy towards other drivers, not checking mirrors frequently enough, or looking in the mirrors for too long. There are also penalty points that apply specifically to manoeuvers etc. If you exceed your maximum amount of penalty points, you will fail. You will also fail if you commit one of ‘immediate failure’ items, which includes making a dangerous action, violating a traffic law, and exceeding a speed limit. A full list of immediate failures can be found here.