New test for driv­ers to make roads safer

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page -

LEARNER driv­ers in West Lan­cashire have started tak­ing new­style tests af­ter changes came into force.

The test has un­der­gone the big­gest change since the in­tro­duc­tion of the in­de­pen­dent driv­ing sec­tion in 2010.

Mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the as­sess­ment were in­tro­duced on Mon­day, De­cem­ber 4.

The changes in­clude ex­tend­ing the in­de­pen­dent driv­ing part of the test to 20 min­utes, four out of five can­di­dates will fol­low di­rec­tions from a sat nav, and a ve­hi­cle safety ques­tion will have to be an­swered while driv­ing.

Re­vers­ing ma­noeu­vres will also be changed.

A week be­fore the changes were im­ple­mented, a Driver and Ve­hi­cle Stan­dards Agency (DVSA) spokes­woman said that more than 222,000 learner driv­ers had booked a new­style test.

DVSA chief driv­ing ex­am­iner Les­ley Young said: “DVSA’s pri­or­ity is to help you through a life­time of safe driv­ing.

“New driv­ers are most at risk dur­ing the first few months of driv­ing af­ter they pass their test.

“We need to en­cour­age more prac­tice on a wider range of roads and traf­fic sit­u­a­tions to re­duce that risk.

“Chang­ing the test to be more re­al­is­tic to real life driv­ing will bet­ter pre­pare driv­ers to keep safe”.

The new test, which has been in­de­pen­dently as­sessed as low risk, in­cludes a new ma­noeu­vre of pulling up on the right.

In­creas­ing the in­de­pen­dent driv­ing part of the test to 20 min­utes means that ex­am­in­ers will be bet­ter able to as­sess if the learner has the skills and ex­pe­ri­ence they need to use roads safely.

The DVSA said that most fa­tal col­li­sions hap­pened on high-speed roads not in­clud­ing mo­tor­ways and that chang­ing the for­mat of the test will al­low more of these types of roads to be in­cluded in driv­ing test routes, rather than qui­eter side streets, which the driv­ing test has tra­di­tion­ally used.

The changes are sup­ported by the driv­ing train­ing in­dus­try.

Chair of the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion Strate­gic Part­ner­ship for driv­ing in­struc­tors Carly Brook­field said: “If we want to launch the next gen­er­a­tion of safer new driv­ers onto our busy roads, then we need a test that bet­ter as­sesses a can­di­date’s readi­ness for real life in­de­pen­dent driv­ing.

“The changes to the driv­ing test are de­signed to achieve those key road safety goals, and have al­ready un­der­gone one of the largest and most rig­or­ous tri­als and con­sul­ta­tion pro­cesses ever seen in driver ed­u­ca­tion.”

The Mo­tor Schools As­so­ci­a­tion gen­eral man­ager John Lepine said: “Im­prov­ing the driv­ing test will give new driv­ers more of the skills needed for ev­ery­day driv­ing.

“The new test will help to pre­pare new driv­ers for a safer driv­ing ca­reer and help to re­duce road ca­su­al­ties.”

Test can­di­dates now have to an­swer a safety ques­tion while driv­ing

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