Zoom doom! Bestseller Mazda fails driving test

Zoom doom! Bestseller Mazda fails driving test

Guidelines surrounding speedometers have stopped people from using the best-selling car to try for their licence.AUSTRALIA’S best-selling car cannot be used in the VicRoads licence test – despite being approved for use in other states.
Nanjing Night Net

It’s the latest blow for novice drivers who are already forced to apply for a special exemption to drive the many modern low-power, fuel-efficient, turbocharged cars.

New drivers must tackle some of the strictest rules in the country before they are allowed on the road, as VicRoads guidelines surrounding speedometers have stopped people from using the best-selling Mazda3 to try for their licence.

Mazda owner Owen Shemansky was told this year that his wife could not use their car to take her driving test as its speedometer was not visible from the passenger seat.

”We bought the Mazda before she was even going for her learner’s licence. We were thinking she would take the car and use it when the time comes,” Mr Shemansky said. ”They knocked us back on the day [of the test] … they turned us away on the spot.”

Mr Shemansky said he was frustrated. ”Buying a brand-new car in Victoria, you’d think a consumer could have a reasonable expectation that it could be used in Victoria for a driver’s test.”

Shrouds around the Mazda3 dashboard limit the view of its speedometer from the passenger seat. A VicRoads spokeswoman said some cars were not suitable for driving exams because the entire speedometer ”must be easily visible to the testing officer from the front and rear passenger seat”. She said a supplementary speedo could be fitted to test cars, but that GPS speed readouts were not allowed and would not be considered in the future ”unless they can be proven to be as accurate as speedometers”.

Provisionary drivers already cannot take the wheel of turbocharged cars such as Volkswagen’s base-model 1.2-litre Golf without applying for special exemption, but can drive Toyota’s 3.5-litre Aurion with double the power.

David Stannus, owner of Australian Design Rules consultancy firm Protech Developments, said VicRoads was out of touch with technology and that GPS units provided a more accurate measurement of speed. He said most dashboard speedometers had a 4 per cent error margin.”GPS will give you an accuracy of 0.5 per cent,” he said.

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