The hazard perception section of the driving theory test has received a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award for its role in “saving hundreds of lives every year”.
As the name suggests, the hazard perception test uses video clips to test candidates’ reactions to hazards on the road. The original filmed clips are soon to be replaced with animated clips, incorporating a wider range of hazards. Every year around 1.5m hazard perception tests are taken as part of the theory test, with an average pass rate of 85%.
The Prince Michael judges described the hazard perception test as an “outstanding innovation, which had made a considerable improvement to road safety and was well overdue for recognition”.
Alastair Peoples, DVSA chief executive, said: “The theory test plays a vital role in making sure that new drivers know the Highway Code and the rules of the road, helping them to drive safely and responsibly and making our roads safer."
Adrian Walsh, director of the Prince Michael Road Safety Awards scheme, said: “Although this element of the test is now considered by most candidates as nothing special, its effect in reducing casualties has been significant.
“Analysis shows that a statistically significant reduction of 11.3% in accidents on public roads can be attributed to hazard perception testing.
“An award to the team behind this outstanding innovation is long overdue.”
In June this year the hazard perception test also received the John Smart Road Safety Award at the 2014 Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) Awards.