Driving test changes steering Britain’s next generation of drivers to new heights

From Monday the 4th of December 2017, the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) has confirmed that the driving test for England, Scotland and Wales will change drastically. With most of the population believing this for the better.

Research has shown that road collisions are the most common cause of deaths for the young people of Britain, accounting for over a quarter of deaths for those aged between 15 and 19, with most fatal collisions happening on high speed roads.
In order to combat this, the DVSA has devised a new test that is sure to give birth to more confident, independent and most importantly safe drivers.

Although the pass mark and marking criteria are staying the same (you will pass if you make no more than 15 minor driving faults and no serious or dangerous faults), the independent part of the test will increase from 10 minutes to 20 – roughly half the test, reversing manoeuvres will change, and you will have to answer 2 driving safety questions whilst on the road.
For the reversing manoeuvres, you will be asked to do one of the following:
– Pull up on the right hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and then re-join the traffic
– Parallel park at the side of the road
– Park in a bay

Furthermore, some had expressed concerns that the old driving test was outdated, as due to the immense influx of technological changes incurred over the last decade or so, what most would deem colloquial driving has also changed drastically.

To match this, the DVSA has included a portion of the test where you will follow directions from a sat nav.

The examiner will provide this, and it will take place during the independent driving part of the test. One in five tests, however, will not include this and you will have to follow traffic signs instead.
These changes have not come about without the focus groups to support it, though. The DVSA held a public consultation that over 3,900 people took part in, and a trial of the changes happened that involved over 4,300 learner drivers and over 860 instructors.
I spoke with one prospective driver, Jack Jones, an employee at McAfee from Buckinghamshire, to get his insight on the new changes. He said:

 

“I do believe the changes will make the test more relevant in today’s society, especially the sat nav section of the independent driving, it was always going to need to be updated in order to keep up to date [with society].”

You can listen to the full interview here

Transport Minister, Andrew Jones, said:

“Our roads are among the safest in the world. However, road collisions are the biggest killer of young people. These changes will help us to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads and equip new drivers with the skill they need to use our roads safely.”

With a vast majority of the public backing these changes, it appears to be a step in the right direction for the DVSA in increasing the safety for young drivers and those around them. It can also be duly noted that the price of the test will stay the same.

Scott Jones

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