Road Safety News

DVSA pilots ‘real driving’ test

Tuesday 12th May 2015

A 17-year-old man from East Dunbartonshire in Scotland has become one of the first people to pass a new-style driving test which is being trialled at 20 locations across the UK (BBC News).

The revised test, which includes following directions on a sat-nav for around 20 minutes, is designed to "better reflect real driving". Other changes being piloted include reversing out of a parking space, pulling up on the right before rejoining the flow of traffic, and requiring candidates to show how they would operate the rear-heated screen or other vehicle safety features while driving.

The BBC News report says around 20 people have taken the new test. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) plans to complete 1,000 of the new tests between now and early 2016.

 Drew Nicol, the driving instructor who taught 17-year-old Grant Ferguson, told BBC News: "Lots of people have criticised the idea of using sat-navs but people are going to use them when they drive so it makes sense that we teach them to use them properly. I teach learners to listen to it rather than look at it or glance at it only when it is safe to do so."


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Any change in the testing regime must result in a change in training, so the DVSA needs to think carefully about any alterations.

I welcome the addition of being asked how to operate the HRW, but it goes nowhere near far enough. Candidates ought to be able to give a concise cockpit drill prior to the start of the test. They ought to be able to give a commentary in order to demonstrate decent hazard perception. Our current test is not fit for purpose and requires radical overhaul, not minor tweaks.
David, Suffolk

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This appears to be in line with modern thinking that the DSA test needs to be updated with new thinking and new dimensions. Not replacing or forgetting the old ones of course. It's at least a start. We will have to see the results in due course.
Bob Craven Lancs...Space is Safe Campaigner

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