In a bid to decrease the number of young drivers involved in car accidents, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has announced several changes that are to be made to the practical driving test by December 2017.
What changes are going to be made to the driving test?
Let’s break down what changes will be introduced to the practical driving test.
Following sat nav directions
The most notable change is the introduction of following directions from a satellite navigation system (sat nav). It has been found that around half of drivers in the UK own a sat nav, not to mention the number of drivers who use their smartphone to navigate from A to B.
It seems logical for young drivers to be familiar with using them prior to passing their driving test. Only sat navs supplied by the examiner may be used during the test.
The DVSA have confirmed that 1 in 5 tests will still be advised to follow traffic signs instead. If the driver goes in the wrong direction using either of these methods, there will be no fault issued as long as they are driving safely.
The Chief Executive of the DVSA, Gareth Llewellyn has said that: “It’s vital that the driving test keeps up to date with the new vehicle technology and the areas where young drivers face the greatest risk once they’ve passed their test.”
Length of independent driving extended
Additionally, the length of the independent driving section of the test has doubled to 20 minutes so that the examiner can confirm that the driver is able to remain safe whilst driving independently.
In order to be comfortable with this section of the driving test, carrying out private practice beforehand can be hugely beneficial.
Reversing Manoeuvres – What’s scrapped and what remains?
Also, the manoeuvres ‘reverse around corners’ and ‘turn in the road’ will be replaced with scenarios more relevant to everyday situations; such as driving into and reversing out of a parking bay. The ‘parallel park’ and ‘pulling up on the right-hand side of the road’ manoeuvre may still be requested during the test.
Show Me, Tell Me format changed
As well as those changes, the examiner will ask a safety question (otherwise known as the ‘Show Me, Tell Me’ section of the test) before entering the car and ask one whilst on the move. For more information and the questions, visit the ‘Show Me, Tell Me Safety Questions’ section of the official DVSA website.
What’s staying in the driving test?
The DVSA have confirmed that the eyesight test, controlled stops, emergency stops and the pass mark (no more than 15 minor faults with no major faults) will remain the same. The test will last around 40 minutes in total. For more information, visit the official DVSA website.
These changes have already been trialled with 4,500 drivers across 32 test centres in the UK this year. The DVSA hope that these significant changes vastly improve the safety of young drivers and will prepare them for more real-life scenarios.
What do you think of the changes? Do you think it’ll make the roads safer? Let us know in the comments.