Driving instructors and students are gearing-up for changes to the driving test

P PlateMotoring has changed over the decades and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has updated the driving test to keep up with the times. The changes will be testing for both driving instructors and students, but should prepare learners for a ‘lifetime of safe driving’.

The new test will come into effect on 4th December and is designed to better reflect modern day driving and improve road safety for newly qualified drivers. The changes are as follows:

Increased independent driving: Arguably the biggest change is doubling the length of the independent driving part of the test from 10 minutes to 20 minutes (half of the total test).

Using a sat nav for directions: Traditionally learners have been given directions by the examiner, but now the majority (80%) will be expected to use a sat nav during the independent driving part of the test. Over half of motorists now use a satnav and the DVLA wants to make sure they are being used safely.

U-turn on reversing manoeuvres: The much dreaded ‘turn-in-the-road’ has been scrapped (along with ‘reversing around a corner’) and learners will instead be required to do one of the following: parallel parking at the roadside, parking in a bay, or parking on the right side of the road before reversing and returning to the traffic.

Safety questions behind the wheel: Learners will need to answer two ‘tell me/ show me’ safety questions.’ Tell me’ questions require the learner to explain how to undertake a safety task before setting off (such as how to check the tyre pressure or oil levels). ‘Show me’ questions require the learner to perform a safety task while driving (such as washing the windscreen or using the rear demister).

To facilitate the changes the DVLA will be releasing new test routes and the government has just announced that learner drivers will be allowed to have lessons on motorways (with approved instructors and dual controls) from 2018.

The Transport Minister Andrew Jones commented on the measures saying “Our roads are among the safest in the world. However, road collisions are the biggest killer of young people. These changes will help us to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads and equip new drivers with the skill they need to use our roads safely”.

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