On 4th December 2017 the DVSA are updating the practical driving test. This is the first update to the driving test since 2015 when computer generated videos where introduced to the Hazard perception test.
In total the DVSA are going to introduce 4 driving test changes:
- Independent driving:
Currently the independent driving section of a driving test lasts for around 10 minutes, during this time you drive without turn by turn instructions from the examiner. From December 4th the independent driving section will increase to 20 minutes, roughly half the driving test.
- Sat Nav directions:
During the independent section of the driving test most candidates will be asked to follow directions for a sat nav – provided and set up by the driving examiner. The route will be set by the examiner so you do not need to practice using a sat nav, you can only use the examiners sat nav on test and not your own.If you aren’t sure where the sat nav is taking you, you can ask the examiner for confirmation of where you are going. It won’t matter if you go the wrong way unless you make a driving fault while doing so.1 out of every 5 driving test’s will not include this sat nav part of the test, instead they will be asked to follow traffic road signs.
- Changes to the reversing manoeuvre.
Reversing around a corner and turning in the road (TIR) will no longer be tested, but you will still be taught these manoeuvres by your instructor. During the test you will be asked to complete one of 3 reversing manoeuvres.1 – Parallel park at the side of the road
2- Park in a bay – either driving in and reversing out or reversing in and driving out – the examiner will tell you which you have to do.
3- Pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and then rejoin the traffic.
- Answering a vehicle safety question whilst you are driving.
Those familiar with the current driving test will know these as show me, tell me questions. During your test you will be asked 2 vehicle safety questions.You will be asked one of each:
A ‘Show me’ question where you would show how to complete a safety check, such as how to wash the windscreen using the car controls.A ‘Tell me’ question, where you explain how you would carry out a safety check, such as how to check your brake lights.
Why are these changes being made?
It’s great to keep up with the times and it’s a good sign that the DVSA want to bring the test in line with technology such as Sat nav’s, whilst it is still important to retain traditional knowledge such as using road signs, new drivers should be able to use both together whilst being taught to use new, distracting technology safer.
The DVSA hopes these changes will help reduce the number of young drivers being involved in fatal collisions. Road collisions are the biggest killer of young people. They account for over a quarter of all deaths of those aged between 15 and 19.
Most fatal collisions happen on high-speed roads (excluding motorways) – changing the driving test will allow more of these types of roads to be included in driving test routes, research has shown that new drivers find independent driving training valuable – they can relate it to driving once they’ve passed their test