New test for drivers to make roads safer
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.”