There are major changes being made to the driving test in the UK, and it will be the biggest shake up in more than a decade, including several new additions to the exam.
New learner drivers will now sit a brand-new test this year as the driving exam is overhauled to make way for more modern rules.
The changes, announced by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and set to be introduced from December 4th, are intended to bring the UK test up to date with changes to technology.
Under the new changes, learner drivers will now be tested on how to safely use sat navs, as well as being brought up to date with other new technology to pass.
The independent driving section of the test will also be doubled under the new changes to 20 minutes, and manoeuvres such as reversing around a corner will be replaced with more everyday situations such as driving into a parking bay.
The moves announced by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will save lives and improve road safety per transport ministers.
Transport minister Andrew Jones said:
‘’ We have some of the safest roads in the world but we are always looking to make them safer. These changes announced today 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 doing this’’
Around half of all car drivers own a sat nav and 70% of respondents to a public consultation supported the DVSA’S desire for drivers to be trained to use them safely.
Reducing the focus on slow speed manoeuvres in quiet roads will allow examiners to better assess the ability of learners to drive safely in busier areas, where new drivers have the most crashes, the DVSA said.
Road accidents are the biggest killer of young people, accounting for over a quarter of all deaths of those aged between 15 and 19.
DVSA chief executive Gareth Llewellyn commented:
“DVSA’s priority is to help you through a lifetime of safe driving. Making sure the driving test better assesses a driver’s ability to drive safely and independently is part of our strategy to help you stay safe on Britain’s roads. It’s vital that the driving test keeps up to date with new vehicle technology and the areas where new drivers face the greatest risk once they’ve passed their test”
» The current 10 minutes of independent driving will be increased to 20 minutes of independent driving using a sat nav or traffic signs; the examiner will decide if road signs or sat nav will be used for this part of the test- with 20% of the car driving tests using road signs.
» Currently candidates should perform one manoeuvre from: turn in the road, reverse around a corner or reverse parking (either into a bay or at the side of the road) they will still perform one manoeuvre, but it will be one of the following: drive into and reverse out of a parking bay, pull up on the right, reverse and re-join the traffic or reverse parking (either into a bay or at the side of the road)
» The ‘show me’ and ‘tell me’ question at the beginning of the test will become a ‘tell me’ question at the beginning and a ‘show me’ question on the move the changes will only apply to car driving tests to begin with.
» Candidates can’t use their own sat nav during the test- they have to use the one supplied by the examiner.
» The pass mark is staying the same- no more than 15 driving faults and no serious or dangerous faults.
» The overall time of the driving test won’t change; it will still be around 40 minutes.
» The driving test cost will also stay the same.