This week’s revamping of the UK practical driving test is part of a bid to improve safety on roads, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has said.
According to the motoring body, changes which came into force on December 4 will make the exam a more realistic reflection of driving solo.
In Britain, drivers under the age of 25 are up to seven times more likely to be fatally or seriously injured on Britain’s roads compared with older motorists.
Lesley Young, chief driving examiner for the DVSA, says the changes will help to “prepare new drivers for driving on modern roads”, while supporting a reduction in the number of young people involved in serious collisions.
The length of the portion of the test that includes independent driving is being doubled from 10 to 20 minutes, to enable examiners to make a more accurate assessment of a learner’s driving ability.
Candidates are also required to follow directions from a sat nav and there are new “show me, tell me” questions both prior to driving and while the vehicle is in motion.
For example, “tell me how you’d check that the brakes are working before starting a journey”, or “show me how you’d open and close the side window”.
The test is also doing away with hardly-used scenarios such as reversing around a corner and turn in the road, replacing them with more common manoeuvres like parking in a bay.
The changes have been lauded by the motoring community, with experts and road safety organisations welcoming the new approach to “real life driving”.
“Coming up with revisions to the driving test that better reflect the real world challenges of driving in traffic must be a good move,” commented Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation.
Road Safety GB chair Sonya Hurt says the new regime “will allow test candidates more time on the rural road network, where the consequences of inexperience can be particularly devastating”.
Reference: The Independent
Date Published: December 6, 2017
Author: Jackie Kingsley