App trial could put an end to learner-driver logbook cheats

Wollongong ABC Driving School owner Mike Hyne supports a possible change that would replace learner driver logbooks with an app. Picture: Sylvia Liber

Wollongong ABC Driving School owner Mike Hyne supports a possible change that would replace learner driver logbooks with an app. Picture: Sylvia Liber

A trial that sees learner driver logbooks replaced with an app should make it harder for people to lie about how many hours they had driven, a driving instructor said.

At present, learners must accrue 120 hours of supervised driving, whether that be with a family member, a friend or a driving school.

Those details are then entered into a logbook.

Under a trial, 100 learners will also track their driving with a phone app.

“It is about time we brought the logbook experience into the 21st century,” said Roads Minister Melinda Pavey.

“Parents and kids are sick of having to manually write in 120 hours of driving practice.”

Ms Pavey said the process of using the app will comply with all applicable road rules relating to the use of mobile phones in vehicles.

When you see what’s in some logbooks you know a lot of it is not accurate. - Mike Hyne

Mike Hyne, owner of ABC Driving School in Wollongong, said it had been known for learners or their parents to make unrealistic logbook entries in order to reach the 120-hour mark faster.

“Believe it or not people were putting wrong information into logbooks,” Mr Hyne said.

“They were falsifying entries. When you see what’s in some logbooks you know a lot of it is not accurate.”

The apps in the trial use GPS technology to track trips and kilometres driven and can confirm the time of day in which journeys were taken.

Mr Hyne said learner drivers going digital instead of using paper logbooks would put an end to those bogus entries.

“The best thing about these apps is that’s going to be impossible to do,” he said.

“It’s going to be a pure and accurate record of what the person has been doing.”

Mr Hyne said the apps could increase the amount of time a learner spends with a driving instructor.

At present a portion of each lesson is taken up with the paperwork of filling out logbooks.

“Having to fill out all the paperwork at the end of the lesson, the learner is losing out because some of the lesson is spent completing their paperwork,” he said.

The six-week trial will include four apps – Licence Ready, Learner Journey, Ezy Log and L2P.

Transport for NSW will review the trial and, if it is successful, the apps are expected to be rolled out more widely later this year.

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