New Driving Test Launches December 2017.
Like most safety areas within our workplace are reviewed and overhauled, the driving test is no different with new changes including technology being integrated in an already crowded criteria based test.
DVSA has now confirmed that the driving test in England, Scotland and Wales will change and launch from from Monday 4 December 2017.
The changes have been designed to make sure new drivers have the required skills needed to help them through a lifetime of safe driving on our now crowded and busy road network.
Changes will only apply to car driving tests to begin with.
4 Driving Test Changes
1: Independent driving part of the test will increase from 10 minutes to 20 minutes.
The independent driving part of the test currently lasts around 10 minutes. During this part of the test, you have to drive without turn-by-turn directions from the driving examiner.
2: Following directions from a sat nav.
During the independent driving part of the test, most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav.
The examiner will provide the sat nav and set it up. You won’t need to set the route – the examiner will do this for you. So, it doesn’t matter what make or model of sat nav you practise with.
You can’t follow directions from your own sat nav during the test – you have to use the one supplied by the examiner.
You’ll be able to ask the examiner for confirmation of where you’re going if you’re not sure. It won’t matter if you go the wrong way unless you make a fault while doing it.
One in 5 driving tests won’t use a sat nav. You’ll need to follow traffic signs instead.
3: Reversing manoeuvres / exercises will be changed.
The ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn-in-the-road’ manoeuvres will no longer be tested, but you should still be taught them by your instructor.
You’ll be asked to do one of 3 possible reversing manoeuvres:
Parallel park at the side of the road.
Park in a bay – either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will tell you which you have to do).
Pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and rejoin the traffic.
4. Answering a vehicle safety question while you’re driving.
The examiner will ask you 2 vehicle safety questions during your driving test – these are known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions.
You’ll be asked the:
‘tell me’ question (where you explain how you’d carry out a safety task) at the start of your test, before you start driving.
‘show me’ question (where you show how you’d carry out a safety task) while you’re driving – for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers.
How the new driving test will be carried out from December 2017:
Why New Driving Test Changes
Road collisions are the biggest killer of young people, accounting for over a quarter of all deaths of those aged between 15 and 19.
DVSA wants to make sure that training and the driving test reduce the number of young people being killed in collisions, high-speed roads (not including motorways) being one of the highest contenders – changing the format of the test will allow more of these types of roads to be included on the new driving test routes.
Statistics show that 52% of car drivers now have a sat nav, subsequently DVSA wants new drivers to be trained to use them safely.
Sat nav integration did prove popular with candidates on the revised test trials but evidence does reflect young drivers using this technology are more likely to be involved in road collisions, comparisons to controlled and independent are yet to be collated.
The ‘independent driving’ training is a valuable asset to the new test, leading to it’s longer and more in depth usage within the new driving test.
DVSA Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said:
“Great Britain’s roads are among the safest in the world. But there’s still more that we can do to keep road users safe – particularly newly-qualified drivers.
“Making sure that 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.”
DVSA Chief Driving Examiner, Lesley Young, added:
“Candidates will be given more responsibility for making decisions during the test. We want them to show they can cope with distractions and assess risk without the intervention of their instructor or examiner.”
Whilst these changes are firmly focused on the younger and new driver sector, it seems ironic that ‘existing’ drivers are not subject to similar quality control.
Unless existing drivers break the law in some shape, the current system has little if anything to offer in relation to ongoing or continual professional development (CPD) for these drivers.
Most will pass their driving test, from that point onward receive no remedial training to improve existing skills.
Driver attitude is one of the most lethal weapons in the majority of road collisions, many if not most avoidable had the attitude of the driver been ‘defensive’ rather than typically ‘offensive’.
Until this critical issue is addressed road safety will continue to be high on the list of ‘to do’s’ by DVSA.
Your thoughts are of course welcome on these new changes