The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has published a five-year strategy, outlining the steps it will take to keep drivers safe on the roads of Great Britain.
Published yesterday (30 March), the DVSA strategy covers three key themes: ‘helping you through a lifetime of safe driving’; ‘helping you keep your vehicle safe to drive’; and ‘protecting you from unsafe drivers and vehicles’.
The DVSA says that by the end of this year it will have developed detailed plans for each of these themes, including how it will measure success in each area.
In terms of learning to drive, the strategy explains how DVSA will ensure new drivers are better prepared through improved access to guidance, advice and training.
As an example, the DVSA will send personalised advice to learner drivers based on the faults they made during their driving test. Both learner and newly qualified drivers will also be taught how to make the most of new vehicle features.
DVSA will also explore opportunities to further develop driver training and testing by utilising relevant technologies, such as virtual reality, while driving tests will be updated to keep abreast of new vehicle technology.
Turning to vehicle safety, the DVSA aims to ensure drivers know where and when they can get their vehicle tested – and what checks should be carried out all-year-round.
To better meet the needs of those responsible for testing vehicles, the DVSA will make it easier for them to access up-to-date standards, guidance and information, and encourage them to take training and obtain qualifications to improve their skills.
The strategy also outlines how DVSA will ensure all vehicles are tested to the same high standard, by closing down persistently poorly performing test centres.
In the final section of the strategy report, DVSA says it will prevent dangerous and high-risk operators and drivers from using Great Britain’s roads, and make sure it is financially better to follow the rules rather than break them.
In the foreword, Andrew Jones, road safety minister, said: “We should be proud of Great Britain’s strong road safety record. In 2015, road casualties were the second lowest on record.
“However, we need to plan for the future. As technology improves, vehicles will become more capable of driving themselves. We need to make sure driver training and testing keeps up, and the MOT adapts to be able to test vehicles that rely more and more on software.”