Glossary

Adjacent direction : coming from the left or right, across your path.

Amber : the yellow colour used for traffic lights.

Approaching : getting closer to, from any direction.

Arterial road : a main road that carries a lot of traffic between suburbs or within cities or towns.

Axle : bar on which wheels rotate.

BAC : blood alcohol concentration given as grams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

Beam (lights) : angle and brightness of lights; (low or high).

Blind spots (see also head check) : area that is not seen in mirrors.

Blockouts : central vision and/or where your vision is blocked.

Black spot/black length : a place or length of road with a high rate of crashes.

Boom : long pole used to block the road as at a railway crossing.

Buffering : positioning your vehicle to create maximum space around you, away from hazards.

Built up area : in relation to a length of road, means an area in which there are buildings on land next to the road, or there is street lighting, at intervals not over 100 metres for a distance of at least 500 metres or, if the road is shorter than 500 metres, for the whole road.

Bystander : person present but not involved in an event.

Car based motor tricycles : a three-wheeled vehicle primarly constructed from car components.

Cancelled (licence) : you can no longer use your licence; that is, you can no longer drive.

Child restraint : specific seatbelts, seats or capsules that children under a certain age are required to use/wear (eg baby restraints, child seats, child safety harnesses).

Colliding : crashing into.

Crash avoidance space : the space a driver needs to manage, in order to prevent a potential crash.

Compliance plate : the plate that identifies a vehicle as being manufactured to safety standards applicable to the time of manufacture.

Compulsory : necessary, required, must do.

Corrosive (chemical) : chemical that eats away, like acid, for example.

Covering the brake : where your right foot is off the accelerator and over the brake pedal without activating the brake, see also ‘setting up the brake’.

DART : Driving Ability Road Test.

Default speed limit : the speed limit where there are no speed limit signs. The urban limit is 50 km/h.

Defined : explained.

Demerit (points) : there are different points limits for different types of licences (learner, provisional etc). Demerit points are recorded against your licence for a range of traffic offences (eg speeding). If you get too many demerit points your licence may be cancelled or suspended.

Device : a piece of equipment.

Diabetes : disease which affects the body’s use of sugar.

Disability (driving) : physical condition that may affect your driving.

Disqualified (licence) : you are not allowed to hold or obtain a licence in NSW. You can no longer drive.

Driving instructor : a person who instructs learners or provisionals (for money or reward) how to drive.

Driver Qualification Test (DQT) : a combination of an advanced Hazard Perception Test, a further test of the road rules and safe driving practice. The test must be passed to progress from P2 stage to full licence status.

Edge line : line marked along the road at or near the far left or right.

Endorsed : a statement placed on a document (eg a licence or registration papers).

Engine capacity : engine size usually stated in litres or cubic centimetres (cc) 1 Litre =1000 cc.

Epilepsy : disease that can cause fits.

E-Toll : Electronic toll lanes.

Exceed : go beyond as with speed, to exceed the speed limit is to go faster than the speed limit.

Exempt : if you are exempt, a particular requirement does not apply to you (eg tests or fees).

Expired (licence) : the date on the licence is no longer current and the licence is therefore no longer valid.

Explosive : something that is dangerous as it may blow up.

Expressway : see motorway.

Fatal : something that results in death.

Fatigue : the experience of feeling ‘sleepy’, ‘tired’ or ‘exhausted’. Fatigue affects both your body and your ability to drive safely.

Field of vision : what you can see without moving your eyes or head.

Flammable : easily set on fire.

Flash high beam : to switch the headlights from low beam to high beam and back.

Following distance : the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle travelling ahead of you in the same direction. Following distance is also called ‘headway’.

Footcrossing : pedestrian crossing.

Forklift : vehicle designed to lift and move loads. Usually used to load trucks.

Freeway : see motorway.

Full Licence : a licence other than a L, P1, P2 or restricted.

Graduated licensing scheme : the three licence stages required in order to gain a full licence.

Gross Combination Mass (GCM) : the maximum laden mass of a motor vehicle plus the laden weight of any trailer(s).

Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) : the maximum laden mass of the vehicle.

Guide to DART : RTA publication that helps explain the Driving Ability Road Test.

Hazard : any possible danger that might lead to a crash.

Hazard lights : flashing orange warning lights found on most vehicles.

Hazard Perception Test (HPT) : a touch-screen computer test which measures your ability to recognise and respond to potentially dangerous situations and react appropriately when driving. Provisional drivers must pass this test to progress from the P1 to P2 licence stage.

Head check : looking over your shoulder to the left or right to make sure that there’s nothing in your blind spot. Also known as ‘shoulder check’.

Heavy Vehicle Drivers’ Handbook : RTA publication that explains road rules that apply to heavy vehicles (buses and trucks).

ICAC : Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Intersection : where two or more roads meet or join.

Interstate (travel) : travel between States, NSW to WA for example.

International Driving Permit : a permit issued in accordance with the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic, Geneva 1949, for use in conjunction with a current driver licence.

Interpreter (knowledge test) : a person who understands more than one language and reads the English test questions and then asks the applicant the same questions in another language.

Kerb : concrete edge of a road.

Knowledge test : the Driver Knowledge Test.

Lane : an area of road marked by continuous or broken lines, designed for use by a signal line of vehicles.

Law : rules set out by the government that must be followed.

Level crossing : point where a road crosses a railway track.

Licence class : there are different licences required for driving different vehicles of different sizes (eg motorcycle, car etc).

Licence condition : things that affect a licence (eg must wear spectacles).

Licence type : kind of licence, such as learner, provisional, full.

Load : items carried on a vehicle from one place to another.

Microsleep : brief, unintended periods of loss of attention that may occur when a person is fatigued but trying to stay awake.

Median strip : a section that divides lanes in a two way street.

Minimum : least, smallest.

Motorcycle Rider’s Handbook : RTA publication that explains road rules that apply to motorcycles and riders.

Motorcycle pre-learner training course : a training course undertaken in order to obtain a learner rider licence.

Motorcycle pre-provisional training course  :a training course undertaken in order to obtain a provisional rider licence.

Motorised wheelchairs : a three or four wheeled mobility aid that cannot travel faster than 10 km/hour. A user is defined as a pedestrian.

Motorway : large road (usually more than 2 lanes in each direction) designed to move a lot of traffic quickly. Usually with a 100 or 110km/h speed limit.

Multi-laned road : a road with more than one lane in each direction. These roads sometimes have a median strip dividing traffic travelling in each direction.

Must : a mandatory requirement.

Oncoming (vehicle) : a vehicle approaching you from the front.

Organ donor : person who wishes to donate their organs (liver, kidney, lungs etc) for transplant after they have died.

Overcrowding : having more occupants in a vehicle than available seats.

Overloaded (vehicle) : a vehicle carrying a load that is too big or heavy for the vehicle to carry it safely or legally.

Overseas : outside Australia.

Overtake : to pass a vehicle travelling in the same direction as you.

P1 Licence : the first stage provisional licence. Red in colour.

P2 Licence : the second stage provisional licence. Green in colour.

Parallel parking : parking with the whole length of the vehicle next to the kerb.

Pedestrian : a person who travels by foot (walker, runner for example). Also includes people in motorised and non-motorised wheelchairs and people using wheeled recreational devices or toys.

Penalised : (penalty) punished by way of demerit points, fines, prison, vehicle confiscation etc for breaking a law.

Photo licence : RTA issued driver licence.

Points : see demerit points.

Regulations : laws (see law).

Renew (licence) : to replace a licence that is no longer current.

Rev : to increase engine speed.

Revs : engine speed (measured in revolutions per minute, RPM).

Road : an area used by the public for the purpose of driving or riding motor vehicles.

Road related area : includes an area that divides a road, a footpath, nature strip, cycleway and parking areas.

Road rage : a range of anti-social or aggressive behaviour by road users.

Route : way from one place to another.

RTA inspectors : RTA personnel authorised to conduct vehicle inspections.

Safety chains (trailer) : chains that catch a trailer in an emergency, if the tow connection breaks for example.

Safe gap : a gap in traffic that enables you to turn, overtake or cross an intersection without being involved in a collision or endangering other road users. This means that no other road users should need to take evasive action to avoid your vehicle.

Scanning : constantly moving your eyes when driving so that you can detect hazards that may arise ahead, to the sides and behind your vehicle.

Setting up the brake : where your right foot is off the accelerator and applying light pressure to the brake pedal.

Should : a recommendation, advice.

Shoulder : strip of land that runs down the side on an unkerbed road.

Shoulder check : see head check.

Single laned : a road with one lane running in each direction.

Slip lane : a separate lane for a vehicle turning left.

Spectacles : eye glasses or contact lenses.

Speeding : excessive or inappropriate speed, including not adjusting your speed to suit the conditions or speed limit.

Speed limit : the legal speed for any particular stretch of road, licence or vehicle.

Stationary : not moving.

Supervising driver : a person who holds a full Australian licence for the appropriate class of the vehicle and sits beside the learner driver.

Suspended (licence) : you can no longer use your licence; that is, you can no longer drive.

Tow truck : a vehicle that is designed to tow another vehicle.

Towing : attaching and then pulling a trailer or vehicle behind a vehicle.

Traffic offences : actions that break the traffic law (see law).

Trailers : vehicles that do not have an engine and that are towed behind motor vehicles.

Translator : a person who understands more than one language and who rewrites a written document such as a driver’s licence in English from another language (see interpreter).

Unattended (child) : a child left with no immediate, supervising, responsible adult.

Unladen : not loaded (see load).

U-turn : a complete change of direction, approximately an 180° turn.

Vehicle combination : vehicles joined together. An articulated vehicle can be a vehicle combination of a car and caravan for example.

Wigwag light : flashing orange lights on the rear of buses.

Work site : an area of road, bridge or road reserve that includes the work area(s) and any additional length of road or bridge required for traffic control such as signs and barriers.

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