DVSA launches Public Consultation on New Driving Test Changes

July 27, 2016

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) launched a public consultation on changes to improve the standard car driving test.

The DVSA has been planning to make changes to the driving test. Theire plans are to make it ‘a better assessment of candidates’ ability to drive independently in modern driving conditions’. They are suggesting that the ‘reverse around the corner’ and ‘turn in the road’ manoeuvres will be replaced. They want to include better ways of assessing ‘real life’ driving situations. This will include things such as driving into and reversing out of parking bays.

The current driving test also has a vehicle safety element. This is commonly known as the ‘show me, tell me’ element of the test. The new suggestions will make it compulsory that at least one question is asked whilst the learner is driving.

The key change is that the DVSA want to increase the ‘independent driving’ element of the test. It is currently 10 minutes long. They want it to be extended to 20 minutes and it will involve learners following a sat nav.

These changes are designed, as the DVSA said, to reflect modern driving conditions. They also want the changes to the test to reduce the number of young people who are being killed in collisions. The DVSA assert that most fatal collisions that happen are on high-speed roads. These changes would mean that more high-speed roads would be on test routes. This allows them to become more familiar t learner drivers.

new driving test

DVSA Trials Test New Driving Test Processes

The DVSA has been working closely with the Transport Research Laboratory in the design of the new test. They have been running a trial with more than 4,500 learner drivers and 850 driving instructors. The trial is taking place throughout 2016 and the findings will be published, with the assumption that they will show support for the DVSA’s proposed developments to the driving test.

The DVSA assert that many leading road safety bodies support their changes. They cite the RAC, RoSPA, the AA, the Driving Instructors Association and IAM RoadSmart as in favour of the changes. AA president, Edmund King OBE has commented:

“We know that new drivers are a higher risk on the roads, therefore we need to better prepare them for real-world driving.

“These changes will test drivers in a more realistic manner which is essential to improving their safety once their L plates are removed.”

You can have you say on the public consultation via this link and it will be open until 25th August 2016.