More than 2,500 people have signed a petition calling for a manoeuvre which requires learners to park against oncoming traffic, to be removed from the new driving test.
The petition was launched earlier this year by driving instructor Tony Cove, who says the manoeuvre is ‘dangerous’ and ‘unnecessary’.
Mr Cove adds that the manoeuvre goes against the Highway Code, which states that drivers should not ‘park facing against the traffic flow’.
Coming into force on 4 December 2017, the new driving test will feature four key changes, including increasing the ‘independent driving’ part of the test from 10 to 20 minutes.
Other changes include replacing current manoeuvres such as ‘reverse around a corner’ with more real life scenarios, such as driving into and reversing out of a parking bay; while candidates will also be asked one of the two vehicle safety questions while driving, for example, asking candidates to use the rear heated screen.
The DVSA says currently candidates spend much of the test on low risk roads such as housing estates, so they can carry out the current manoeuvres. It says the new-style manoeuvres will allow assessors to examine the same skill set in a manner which is more representative of what a new driver will experience in everyday driving.
The new manoeuvre asks drivers to pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for two car lengths and rejoin the traffic.
Tony Cove said: “I think the move is dangerous because not only does it mean you’re moving across oncoming traffic, you’re moving over two lanes. You’ve got to remember that these are inexperienced drivers who are being faced with a manoeuvre that I personally rarely use, and is also against the Highway Code. I just think it’s unnecessary.”
However, Gordon Witherspoon, deputy chief driving examiner at the DVSA, told the RAC: “DVSA is committed to helping people through a lifetime of safe driving and the new test will better assess a driver’s ability to drive safely and independently.
“The new manoeuvre reflects how people actually drive and it is vital they have the knowledge and skills to do it safely, which is why it is included.”
Category: Driver training.