Car driving test set for major overhaul

  • Car driving test set for biggest shake up in 20 years
  • Programming and driving using sat-nav to be included
  • Proposals aimed at reducing young driver road deaths

Proposals from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) look set to give the UK car driving test a dramatic shake up. An analysis of the figures has shown that most fatal collisions happen on high-speed roads, while an increasing number of drivers now use sat-nav – leading to a revised driving test being put up for discussion.

Under the proposed changes, the “independent driving part of the test will be increased from 10 to 20 minutes, while candidates will now be asked to follow directions from a sat-nav.

The reverse around a corner and turn in the road manoeuvres have also been dropped in favour of more “real-life scenarios”, such as driving into and reversing out of a parking bay.

Finally, one of two safety questions will be asked while the candidate is driving – an example being asking them to use the rear heated screen.

Figures from the DVSA show that road collisions are the biggest killer of young people, accounting for a quarter of all deaths for those aged between 15 and 19. DVSA Chief Executive, Garath Llewellyn, said “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.”

CEO of the Driving Insructors Association Carly Brookfield stated that “we fully welcome the developments to the test and are compelled by the evidence we have seen to date from the trial to recommend that these long overdue developments are made to a driving test - which has been fundamentally unchanged for over 20 years and has not kept pace with how our roads and driver behaviour has developed over time.”

A consulatation asking for views on the changes has been published on the gov.uk website.

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