The UK Driving Test is Changing
Driving tests in the UK are going to change, according to new statements from the DVSA – Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency in Britain.
The UK driving test, which has not been changed for 20 years, is now under review and is expected to include some rather dramatic changes.
Carly Brookfield, Chief Executive of the DIA – Driving Instructors Association – has said that the group is ‘enthusiastic’ to see plans to bring the driving test ‘to a level where it more realistically assesses a candidate’s ability to competently and safely manage road based risk and driving in real life, on real roads’.
Ideas for the new test include:
- Scrapping the three-point turn manoeuvre
- Scrapping the reversing around a corner manoeuvre
- Changing the 10 minute independent part of the test to 20 minutes
- Answering one of two safety questions whilst driving (rather than at the beginning of the test), for example being asked to demonstrate how to activate rear windscreen heater
- Introducing being tested on using a satellite navigation system correctly
The need for a new test is proven in research by road safety charity Brake, which showed that almost one in four newly passed drivers between the ages 18-24 in the UK crash within two years of passing their driving test.
However, the ideas surrounding the revised test have not all been met with a positive reaction. Edmund King, president of the AA, had this to say about the proposed changes:
“It is right that the driving test should evolve to reflect real life on the streets and a longer free driving section will make it a better test.
“However, not everyone owns or needs a sat nav and it is not a legal requirement so shouldn’t be a compulsory part of the test. Some still navigate with signs and maps.
“In our view a three-point turn is still an important manoeuvre for getting out of cul de sacs, dead ends and often car parks.”
The new test will be trialled on around 1000 learner drivers which has been created to “better reflect real-life driving”. After that, any further changes to the test would be subject to “full public consultation”.Back to Blog