Around 10,000 learner drivers could see their driving test cancelled as a result
Examiners in the UK are threatening to strike for 48 hours in December over controversial changes made to the driving test.
As a result, around 10,000 learner drivers could see their driving test cancelled if the walkout takes place next month.
From December 4, new additions to the driving test will come into force including sat-nav prompted routes and a new reversing manoeuvre, both of which have been criticised since they were revealed.
One change in particular that has raised concerns with learners as well as instructors is a procedure which requires the driver to pull up on the right hand side of the road before reversing two car lengths and then rejoining the traffic.
Some instructors have asked for a full safety review to be carried out ahead of the changes coming into effect.
At the beginning of November, driving instructor Antony Cove set up an e-petition for the banning of the new reversing procedure, claiming it was in contradiction to Highway Code rule 239 that states motorists should not park facing against the flow of traffic.
Up to now Mr Cove has managed to gather enough support to gain over 2,600 signatures.
On Wednesday (November 15) it was confirmed that examiners who are members of the PCS had voted by 84% in favour of a walkout regarding the changes and would start with a ban on overtime and work to rule which would begin on November 23 followed by strike action on December 4 and 5.
The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) said: “Our members, whose jobs are about ensuring our roads are safe for drivers and pedestrians, have voted overwhelmingly to demonstrate that these changes are unacceptable.”
According to the DVSA, around 10,000 learner drivers could see their driving test cancelled if the strike action goes ahead.
In response to the threat of a walkout and strike action, the chief executive of the DVSA Gareth Llewellyn said: “The fact PCS is trying to undermine the launch of the new test by calling for strike action shows a shameful disregard for both road safety and learner drivers who have worked so hard to be ready to take their test.”
During a recent survey carried out by Confused.com, 2,000 drivers in the UK were asked about the new additions to the driving test and only 17% thought the manoeuvre in question was a good idea, however 46% did approve the sat-nav prompt addition which would take place during the 20 minute independent driving section of the test.
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