Road Safety News
 

Makeover for theory test

Monday 12th January 2015

The DVSA has announced that from 12 January 2015 new computer-generated imagery (CGI) clips have replaced old filmed clips in the hazard perception part of the theory test.

Until now, the test comprised filmed video clips which show everyday road scenes. DVSA says that while the clips are still relevant in terms of content, the image quality isn’t as clear or defined as modern technology allows.

The new clips show the same situations as the previous clips, but feature updated vehicles, roads and surroundings so they look contemporary. All of the clips contain at least one 'developing hazard', while one features two 'developing hazards'.

The way the hazard perception part of the theory test works hasn’t changed, and the pass mark remains the same.

 

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I'm still suprised with the apparent amount of development and money thrown at this, no one seems to consider the sides or the rear of the vehicle. Is the asumption that you do need to scan the road to the rear or the immediate sides of a vehicle?
Keith

Agree (3) | Disagree (0)
+3

Interesting comments but no-one's asked the most important question – does this HPT work (reduce crashes). If 50% of applicants were selected at random to do this HPT, then their crash rate in the following years could be compared to the control group (the other 50%).

The HPT does appear unrealistic and poorly implemented. To improve the realism, there should be a speedometer and the applicant would have to detect any speed over the limit on top of the hazard recognition. That's what we are all supposed to do on real roads.

To be constructive, how about the HPT having a touch screen? The applicant then touches where the hazard is when it appears and touches the speedometer when above the speed limit. This would remove the ambiguity of what they have clicked for.
Dave Finney, Slough

Agree (5) | Disagree (1)
+4

I really am going to miss that old Model T turning right. Next thing we will have a scanner watching the CGI for those autonomous driverless cars.
Peter Westminster

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0

To those who are rigidly watching and commenting on the video, you are doing exactly what you claim learners will be doing. Nobody is going to pass their driving test based on these clips. They are to give candidates an idea of moving developing hazards. They will still be taught how to anticipate and deal with non moving hazards in good time by a driving instructor.
Andy, Warwick

Agree (4) | Disagree (1)
+3

What I can say is that it's a perfect drive or ride. It gives a lot of space to all the traffic and as such the driver/rider (us) can see the variety of possible dangers that may possibly develop and thus maybe require us the driver/rider to make decisions to avoid an incident, or if not at least in order to mitigate the effects of one.

If the van shown stopped in the video had been driving directly in front of us what would have be seen of the potential hazards shown....nothing or very little. It's only with an appreciation of the space between us and any other vehicle could a driver or rider be able to view the developing road ahead and also be seen by other vehicles earlier as opposed to being hidden behind another vehicle of vehicles. Good video reference to SPACE.
Bob Craven Lancs... Space is Safe Campaigner.

Agree (2) | Disagree (0)
+2

I think the introduction of CGI is a vast improvement over the original film, as to the theory test being any use, who knows? I still feel the opportunity missed was to show you have an understanding of the rules BEFORE taking any practical training, use the theory test to validate a learner licence, not just take the theory test when you need to book the practical.
Steve, London

Agree (3) | Disagree (0)
+3

Matt’s dog vs cat analogy is in one way quite relevant, where the personal experience dominated what had been told about dogs chasing cats. Showing and telling is all educational. Ignore what is shown and told, and relying solely on experience alone could prove fatal.

Whether the depicted potential hazards turn into developing hazards is reliant on a fine differential. Any one of the potential hazards upon which one is not scored, could turn into a developing (red circled) in a split second. The car rapidly approaching from the left is flagged as a developing hazard, but only due to its approach speed being visible. What if it were not? Therefore, every side turning or entry is the site of a potential hazard. Will the white Berlingo carefully approaching the main road stop – or suddenly accelerate? How can you tell?

The parked van may appear to be a potential hazard – and so it is, as we do not know the two pedestrians are anything to do with the van. The driver (a third person) may suddenly; appear around the front - throw the door open – or pull away. The difference is crucial. What turns potential into developing? So any potential hazard ought to be seen as a developing hazard and scored thereupon. Instead, we are advised that such recognition of a potential hazard does not score any points. This is where the test fails. The video certainly goes a long way towards better education, but I feel the parameters are falling short.
Derek Reynolds, Salop.

Agree (5) | Disagree (0)
+5

Yes you learn the sequence from its beginning but a novice will learn from a required action rather than the potential for an action. That is how we build experience which is then recalled when a similar sequence presents itself.

To pick up an example of your own, if I had only ever seen a dog ignore a cat how could I possibly predict the dog chasing the cat would present a hazard to me. Even if I was told that dogs chase cats my personal experience would suggest otherwise.
Matt Staton, Cambridgeshire

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0

Referring to Matt and Duncan's (earler) comment - point taken - the video is aimed at testing the novice. However this being the case, the driver is deliberately shown to be doing an appropriate speed for the road (as a learner would be) and the potential incidents Duncan inventd would not be a problem anyway. Had it been a video aimed at participants on a Speed Awareness Course the driver/rider could be shown to be doing say 45mph, in which case Duncan's hazards would be far more valid and potentially accident-making.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (2) | Disagree (2)
0

To learn a sequence you start with the beginning of it Matt, not the end. The idea that you learn from the effect and not the cause is the fundamental misunderstanding of human brain function that is at the heart of the current HPT.

There is a simple, but incorrect assumption that the human brain will be able to put precursor events into the correct sequence that led up to an event and hence be able to learn the sequence in its entirety. Instead of doing this the brain constructs a narrative that rationalises the facts to make a coherent story. This narrative rarely coincides with the facts and is essentially a piece of spin that paints the person in the best possible light.

People then remember the narrative rather than the actual sequence of events so the next time a similar sequence presents itself they are unable to take advantage of it.
Duncan MacKillop. No surprise - No accident.

Agree (5) | Disagree (1)
+4

The problem is we are approaching this as experienced drivers with a knowledge of a vast range of event sequences that may possibly result in us having to take action.

Learner drivers must build up this knowledge in order to be able to reliably predict event sequences. This must start with the basics - the point at which rection is required so their memory can store that event sequence for future reference.
Matt Staton, Cambridgeshire

Agree (6) | Disagree (3)
+3

The HPT test was designed for new riders Hugh and as such a new rider does not have a great deal of 'road sense'. These are all predictable events that's for sure, but that pre-supposes that the new rider is actually able to predict them. We 'experts' may well know about the hidden horrors displayed on the clip, but to the new rider if they have no meaning and thus do not provide clues as to what will happen next then they are no more horrible than any other situation.

People are becoming victims of fairly predictable, everyday events on the roads and that is the very problem that the HPT fails to solve.
Duncan MacKillop. No surprise - No accident.

Agree (5) | Disagree (2)
+3

I would suggest you're underestimating the road sense of motorcyclists Duncan...they're not necessarily all reckless speeders with tunnel vision, waiting to become victims of fairly predictable, everyday events on the roads.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (5) | Disagree (6)
-1

If you were on a motorbike and you hadn't already been killed by the first car that pulled out then you would be certain to be killed by the car that's going to pull out at 0:31 into the video. The Beemer at 0:36 is not going to kill you even though it's flagged as a hazard because it's clearly reacting to your presence. You would kill the pedestrian that stepped out from behind the van at 0:44. You would be killed by the car that's doing a blind reverse out of the angled parking space at 0:53. You would go on to be killed by the blue car turning across you at 1:01. The one in - one out rule means you would be killed for the last time by the white car at 1:05.

How in any way is this HPT teaching people how to avoid getting killed?
Duncan MacKillop. No surprise - No accident.

Agree (8) | Disagree (5)
+3

If you listen to the commentary on the second part of the video, the DVSA are correctly highlighting the potential hazards which the driver should be noting, but which don't require action and those developing hazards which do require action i.e slowing down and being ready to stop for the speeding car in the side road. All this assumes our driver is already driving at a speed appropriate for the environment (which it is) and therefore the potential hazards (the yellow circles) are not situations requiring exceptional action.

David: I can't see what action the presence of the parked van should trigger; I agree that the blue Mazda could make a sudden move, but again the speed of 'our driver' is crucial and it would seem to be slow enough to stop, so I don't think this potential hazard has necessarily been ignored by the DVSA. Of course, if our driver was speeding, all this goes out of the window as they then become a moving hazard in themselves on a potential collision course with all the others. A good advert for speed management as well.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (6) | Disagree (7)
-1

Yes David you are absolutely correct in your observation. The HPT teaches people to react when what it should be teaching them is how to predict. If we are churning out new drivers and riders that only know how to react to situations then it's no wonder we are killing so many of them when they start driving on their own.
Duncan MacKillop. No surprise - No accident.

Agree (11) | Disagree (1)
+10

If this is meant to test how young drivers deal with hazards, then no wonder that newly-qualified drivers have so many crashes. If the DVSA thinks that hazards such as the parked van, for example, require no action, then they need to rethink their own hazard perception. The saloon car that approaches the left hand junction at speed is regarded as the only developing hazard in this clip, and if that is the case then I am a monkey's uncle.

What about the blue Mazda which stops in the centre of the road, positioned to turn right across the driver's path? Just because it does so at a low speed is no indication that the driver will not begin to turn, and to state that it is not a developing hazard is wrong in my opinion. There seems to be a strong emphasis on what is happening, and not on what could be reasonably expected to happen.

Once again, a trick seems to have been missed.
David, Suffolk

Agree (10) | Disagree (1)
+9

I have to say it's very realistic and one does find oneself subconsciously slowing/braking. I presume this is not the only clip used and they would actually run for much longer. Are there similar clips for rural driving and motorways?
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (4) | Disagree (1)
+3