December 06, 2017 at 2:21 PM
Revolutionary changes to the Driving Test were rolled out to test centres across the UK last week. As of December 4th 2017, learner drivers will be expected to demonstrate their ability to follow a sat nav system, the test also includes busier, higher-risk roads - as well as a number of new manoeuvres to better prepare future motorists.
The new test will now begin with the examiner asking a series of safety-related "tell me" questions, e.g. how to find the recommended air pressures for the car tyres and how to check them.
However, some changes have been met with objectives from some driving instructors. For example, instead of the long-standing 'reverse around a corner' and 'turn in the road' manoeuvres, learners may be asked to pull up on the opposite side of the road, reverse two car lengths, and then rejoin their original flow of traffic. Driving examiners claim it goes against advice given in the Highway Code. Rule 239 of the code states: “If you have to stop on the roadside, do not park facing against the traffic flow.”
The new test also sees independent driving time doubled from 10 minutes to 20 minutes. Where the examiner gives a destination with no further direction. This section is supposed to give the examiner an increased insight into the pupil's driving under 'real-world' conditions.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has defended the changes, claiming these updates are necessary to address the fact that most fatal collisions happen on high-speed roads. Furthermore, with 52% of drivers now using a sat nav, they want new drivers to be safely trained in how to use them.
The overhauled driving test was announced by Andrew Jones, Roads Safety Minister, back in April. “These changes … will help reduce the number of people killed or injured on our roads, and equip new drivers with the skills they need to use our roads safely. Ensuring the driving test is relevant in the 21st Century – for example, the introduction of sat navs – will go a long way towards making roads safer.”
According to a recent survey of 3,900 members of the public, 70% backed each of the four changes to the 2018 driving test. Which 860 driving instructors and 4,300 trialling the new test prior to roll-out with "positive" feedback.