The government has announced that they are going to make changes to the current practical driving test. These changes will be designed to reflect modern, practical driving on UK roads. The moves were first unveiled on 12th May as part of a new motoring services strategy the current government has put together. The strategy includes plans for the future of the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and the Vehicle Certification Agency.
The changes were discussed in Parliament and the driving test needs to be changed in a way to reflect many changes to our roads including the increase of vehicle automation. Records show that new drivers are involved in a high number of road accidents, which is disproportionate when compared with other groups of road users. The government data found that drivers who have a held a full licence for less than six months are involved in 15% of collisions, even though they only account for 5% of the miles driven.
The government’s latest status has highlighted the need to encourage approved driving instructors (ADIs) to put the emphasis of their lessons on learning to drive, not learning to pass the practical driving test. They also want ADIs to actively teach respect for other road users, with a focus on vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.
New Motoring Services Strategy
The new Department for Transport strategy sets out a clear vision for the three key motoring agencies for the rest of the current term of government, until 2020. It includes many different elements and even has a section dedicated to giving ADIs the ability to taken learner drivers onto the motorways around the UK, as long as they’re in a dual controlled car.
There are also hopes to expand and develop the range of driving test slot availability and to expand the number of test centres.
In another core area of motoring strategy, the government has also committed to looking closely at the hauling industry and the bus and coach sector, with the hope of creating a better setup to ensure all services can be efficiently accessed across the whole country.
Announcing the measures, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Transport Secretary, stated: “The strategy sets out our vision for the agencies’ future: how we can better support those learning to drive to ensure they are properly prepared to take their practical test, what we can do to ensure haulage and bus and coach operators can access all our services efficiently and flexibly to suit their needs, and how we can best support the UK automotive industry.”
A new government focus on the motoring sector and road safety across the UK is a positive step towards making changes which benefit all road users.