The new practical driving test will include a sat nav section and 20 minutes of ‘independent driving’
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has announced what changes it has planned for the practical driving test which will be introduced early in 2017.
The new driving test has been trailed at 32 test centre locations throughout the UK. Over 4,500 learner drivers where tested under the new procedure by 850 test instructors. These instructors will now be involved in a six-week consultation process to assess the success of the new test and how it could be perfected.
The practical driving test was last altered in the UK in 2010, when the ‘independent driving’ section was introduced to test learners on following roadsigns and verbal directions for 10 minutes.
The new test will still take 45 minutes to complete but now learners will be required to complete 20 minutes of independent driving.
Additionally, age old manoeuvres, such as the turn-in-the-road and the reverse-around-a-corner, will be eliminated in favour of more modern and practical motoring elements, including how to use and follow a sat nav safely and within the law and how to use a car’s controls and features.
Lesley Young, chief examiner at the DVSA, commented: “Candidates will be given more responsibility for decision making during the test. We want them to show they can cope with distractions and assess risk, without the intervention of their instructor or examiner.”
According to the official figures, around 1.6 million driving tests are conducted each year and 3 per cent of road collisions involve a learner or new driver.
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