The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’s (DVSA) public consultation on plans to improve the car driving tests closed last week (25 Aug).
The proposed changes are designed to make the driving test a ‘better assessment of the candidate’s ability to drive independently in modern driving conditions’.
The changes include increasing the ‘independent driving’ part of the test from 10 to 20 minutes, and asking candidates to follow directions from a sat nav.
The consultation was launched on 14 July and is intended to ‘make sure newly-qualified drivers are better prepared for driving on modern roads’.
Other changes could see the ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn in the road’ manoeuvres replaced with more ‘real-life’ scenarios such as driving into and reversing out of a parking bay.
In addition, one of the two vehicle safety questions (known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions) will be asked while the candidate is driving.
The Agency says most fatal collisions happen on high-speed roads (not including motorways), and changing the format of the test will allow more of these roads to be included in driving test routes.
DVSA is working with the Transport Research Laboratory in a trial involving more than 4,500 learner drivers and 850 driving instructors at 32 locations across Great Britain. The trial is due to end later in 2016, and a full report on the findings will then be published.
When launching the consultation, Lesley Young, DVSA chief driving examiner, said: “Candidates will be given more responsibility for making decisions during the test. We want them to show they can cope with distractions and assess risk without the intervention of their instructor or examiner.”