Millions of newly qualified drivers will be better prepared for life on the road under changes to the driving test that will better reflect real life driving.
The proposals announced by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will help reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads, and ensure safer drivers and journeys.
The changes are:
- increase the ‘independent driving’ part of the test from 10 to 20 minutes
- ask candidates to follow directions on a sat nav as an alternative to following road signs
- replace current manoeuvres such as ‘reverse around a corner’ with more real life scenarios for example, driving into and reversing out of a parking bay
- ask one of the two vehicle safety questions while the candidate is driving, for example, asking candidates to use the rear heated screen
DVSA Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said, “Great Britain’s roads are among the safest in the world. But there is scope to do more to keep road users safe – particularly newly qualified drivers.
“Making sure the test better assesses a driver’s ability to drive safely and independently is part of our strategy to help every driver through a lifetime of safe driving”
These changes are designed to help reduce the number of collisions on higher risk roads – most fatal collisions are on this type of road, and using sat navs will open up routes to include these.
More than half of car drivers are now using sat navs, and the government wants new drivers to be trained to use these safely.
The changes were praised by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety
Executive Director of PACTS, David Davies added, “I welcome the proposed changes to the practical driving test. The extended independent driving element places more emphasis on real world driving and on safety.
“Nobody gets killed making a three point turn in a cul de sac. New drivers need to be more skilled and experienced in driving at speeds on a variety of roads. The signs are that this test will assess those aspects more thoroughly. PACTS welcomes the trial and looks forward to the evaluation.”